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Church Of Hed - The Fourth Hour CD (album) cover


Church Of Hed


Progressive Electronic

4.00 | 1 ratings

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4 stars Church of Hed is a moniker and project of Paul Williams, drummer from the psych/space rock band "Quarkspace" (also listed in ProgArchives), an outlet for Williams to work on his love for the Berlin school style of progressive electronic music. Under the name Church of Hed, Williams released his 6th full length studio album "The Fourth Hour" in November of 2019. Williams plays all of the instruments on this album which is made up of mostly synthesizers and effects, however he is accompanied by a few guests on various tracks.

The album is made up of 5 tracks which together total almost 42 minutes. The album can be downloaded exclusively as 24-bit masters on Bandcamp or digitally from the usual streaming sites. Williams claims inspiration from Manuel Gottsching, Ennio Morricone, Klaus Schulze and Philip Glass is hinted at throughout the album.

The first four out of the 5 tracks on this album feature Stan Lyon helping out on bass, and each one of them is between 8-9 minutes each. The music is well-layered and full, with a space-rock vibe, but with a certain fullness created out of the synthesizers that end up making the music feel more like a full band and not a one-man effort. The percussion is all done with the evenness of programmed effects, but doesn't sound cheap or tinny by any means, though you know it's not organic either. There are two instances on the album that feature some spoken word samples and loops, both on "Q Ching" (credited to Sir Winky Stimplebean) and on the title track "The Fourth Hour" (credited to Louisa Rhys-Stigmuffin).

The music on the album varies from track to track, each one having it's own personality and texture. The brightness and accessibility of "Q Ching" is followed by a darker and more mysterious sounding "The Ruler Does Not Travel". The percussion heavy title track packs a tense nature as it chugs along exchanging the melodic structure for a more experimental and improvisational nature accented by echoing voice loops and ending with a psychedelic flair. "Leave the Salad in the Desert" is more trance-like utilizing low-register loops as a foundation for exploratory synths and keys on the top. "Avoiding the Beach" builds off of layers of synth patterns that swirl around without any percussion or bass foundation and feels similar to a Tangerine Dream style while remaining improvisational.

The album flows along quickly and is quite well produced, never sounding cheap or amateurish at all, but giving the listener a great variety of electronic styles and textures, some based off of a melodic style and others being more improvised sounding. Lovers of Tangerine Dream will appreciate the expressiveness of the music and the professional sound of it all, yet those that love style differences and variety plus some hints of space rock and psychedlia as in the music of Ozric Tentacles will also appreciate this music. I would say the sound of this project falls right in the middle of the two.

TCat | 4/5 |


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