Mouthus - Saw A Halo
It is early to be sure, but I'll be damned if the opening track, "Your Far Church," isn't one of the best songs I've heard all year. Profound, scary and intimate, it implies worlds of emotion and menace. While the rest of "Saw A Halo" is not as intense and complete, this is an amazing release, on which Mouthus dig deeper and finds new power in their noise/post-rock/ brooding palette. The duo of Brian Sullivan (Eskimo King) and Nate Nelson (Religious Knives) explore the dark corners of hope and community, with a more concrete bottom to their soundscapes than on prior sets.
The addition of acoustic guitars to the psych-drone elevate songs like "Armies Between" and "Beaches Sleep Here." All are more frightening (and oddly beautiful) because of that organic presence in the mix. This is not just a wailing, but reaching out for other mourners. They have added new colors to their psychic explorations, and found new ways to help the listener feel less alone in those dark corners.
The closer, "Gift of Sighs," is just that, a burst of the most abrasive music of the otherwise restrained set, offering "Saw a Halo" a final purge and resolution to a demanding, impressive and powerful release that is impossible to ignore.
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