Alethes – Aletheia

alethes_072306_aletheiaThis album is so simple, and yeah so absolutely stunning. It’s a small miracle that these elements haven’t been assembled with this kind of power and breath before. Alas they have not, at least not in anything that has found these ears. Alethes play a primitive style of Dark Folk, that at its core is shares more with a Doom Metal release than anything from the Neo/Apocalyptic Folk circles. Simple acoustic guitar, deliberately played with a forceful hand, old world ritual percussion supplied by Markus Wolff , and tasteful, recessed violin and cello round this out. Vocally, it features an earthy groan, that bares a noticeable similarity to Steve Von Till, but is certainly not without its own dynamic. Joshua Phillips and Exile are the two primary creative forces behind the project both of whom are involved in a myriad of other obscure projects known to haunt the back country of the Northwest, Sacrificial Totem & Rain among them. There is a raw and rustic quality to this when combined with the droning cadence that gives it an air that is truly unique, and ultimately “heavy.” Were you to imagine these songs played through a distorted wall of amps rather than on acoustic guitar they would level you. The dreary progressions with the almost muttered vocals and calculated dirge of a pace makes for an engrossing and hypnotic listen. It is difficult to really pin down what the magic of “Aletheia” is. There is no superfluous melody or layers and details that wrap you up, but the sincerity and girth of this record is beyond question. It is perhaps the simplest epic I have ever heard. To wrap this up, the packaging is appropriately gorgeous. Packaged in a 6×6 gatefold in a heavy (truly) matte black paper that has the feel of suede to the touch and all text and graphics applied in a black foil stamping. I don’t know if I did this record justice here, but suffice to say, this is most recommended. – Scott
GLASS THROAT RECORDINGS

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~ by scottsplatter on January 3, 2009.

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