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The Church - Priest = Aura CD (album) cover


The Church


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3.99 | 44 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.5 stars. Steve Kilby the bass / vocalist for THE CHURCH was (as he says) in the "honeymoon stage" of his opium addiction when writing and recording this album. He pretty much dreamed up the lyrics and sound of this album while in an opium haze. He wrote the lyrics in a trance-like state. He would later pay dearly for this addiction. Steve says he did everything he had always wanted to do on this album. Steve Kilby is one of the few people on this planet that I would pay to hear give a speech. He's one of the great characters in music. Okay let's get back to "Priest=Aura". The disconnected vocals, the atmosphere, the clear and perfect sound, the melancholy and darkness it all adds up to this being the best album THE CHURCH have ever made.There were no attempts at hit songs or bowing to the wants of the record label.They made the album they wanted to make. End of story.This is one of those albums that is difficult to describe because I can't make you feel the emotion I feel at times or hear the depth of the cavernous sounds all around me.

"Aura" is a top five tune for me. I love the sound when it kicks in with vocals before a minute. Nice bass here too.The beat stops 6 1/2 minutes in as the atmosphere takes over and sounds cry out. "Ripple" is another top five. Jangly guitars as vocals join in then it kicks in just before a minute. Guitar only before 4 1/2 minutes then it kicks back in instrumentally to the end. A powerful sound here. "Paradox" gets fuller with vocals quickly. Some backing vocals in this one. "Lustre" opens with bass and atmosphere as the guitar and drums join in, then vocals and a fuller sound follows. Atmosphere ends it. Nice. "Swan Lake" is a short tune with a relaxing beat and vocals. "Feel" sounds really good especially the bass and drums. "Mistress" is a top five.There's an emotion I feel while listening to this amazing tune.The focus is on the vocals. "Kings" opens with jangly guitars as reserved vocals come in. Atmosphere 2 1/2 minutes in then back to the vocals and earlier sound. Excellent track.

"Dome" has a beat with guitar as the vocals join in. Catchy stuff. "Witch Hunt" is all about the rhythm and lyrics. "The Disillusionist" builds quickly as vocals arrive. Dual vocals on the chorus and this has a catchy beat as well. "Old Flame" is dreamy with vocals. "Chaos" is a top five too.The longest track at 9 1/2 minutes. Atmosphere as chunky bass joins in.The guitar comes in as it builds.Vocals join in as the guitar cries out. Amazing sound that erupts 4 1/2 minutes in then rebuilds. A calm with atmosphere 7 1/2 minutes in to end it. "Film" is the final top five for me. Such a rich sound here and it turns heavier after 1 1/2 minutes then settles back as contrasts continue. A calm with atmosphere after 3 minutes to end it.

There is a spiritual componet to this album that can't be ignored. Not surprising perhaps considering the band's name and the title of this record. If going to church was as much of an experience as listening to this album I might actually go.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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