Monday, November 26, 2012

Black Church - "Heaven's Temple Fails To Rise"

Black Church - "Heaven's Temple Fails To Rise" (Bleak Environment, 2012)

"Heaven's Temple..." is one of the harder albums to give a definite genre to in my collection. Understandably some folks may not be able to hear something in this that others have, some may not have the same listening history. You could easily see one group saying Post-Punk and another whispering of that buzzword "Raw Black Metal". The latter is more difficult for me, personally, to hear. My point being is that Black Church covers a lot of ground, there is a blend of styles going on in here yet somehow this comes off as unpretentious. I don't feel like this material is searching for a home or a crowd but rather it just exists as a document of sounds. The varying nature of this release keeps it interesting through-out and escapes the meandering wankery that many bands who mix styles exhibit. It's fresh and doesn't come off as "trying too hard". It may be difficult for people to get excited about hearing this type of music which is implied by sheer design. So to their credit (or quite realistically "his credit", as this may be solo) making anything with such a "downer vibe" and making it fresh and as pleasant as they do is not an easy task.

Repetitious rhythm, and some very dirty droning synth (or Guitar?) work seems to flow perfectly together. The vocal work has a very depressing quality to it something comparable, in atmosphere, to Ian Curtis. What I mean by that is the vocals here aren't a rip off attempt, it is in the atmosphere created by a vocal style devoid of any excitement that you can hear the likeness. The melody and rhythms keep in line with the gloomy despair. Nothing overly bombastic or complex but that's OK as it doesn't seem like Black Church has any desire to implant their tunes into your minds with catchy melodies.


Bleak Environment has yet to fail, the man behind these sounds has yet to release anything sub-par (same can be said about his own label, Fallow Field). With that the character and craftsmanship found on this tape should be no surprise, and it isn't, yet with every listen something fresh seems to find its way through, which is quite surprising.

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