[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
It may have taken seven years to get another album from them but God’s Bow deliver another winner as always. If you don’t know them here’s a brief re-cap: they’ve been with us seventeen years now and have done four albums. The music they make is a tantalizing combination of classical, dark electronics, soaring vocals and on ‘Tranquilizer’ a divine expansion into world influences. They have been a duo since their second album and originated in Poland although they now reside in Germany. Dion Fortune signed them, Black Flames signed them and for the last two records they have been on the Requiem imprint. Interviews are scarce although compilation appearances have been numerous so odds are, you own something they’re on.
So now, onto ‘Tranquilizer’, what have they got for us this time around. Remarkable artwork on the sleeve for one, I mean what Agnieszka Szuba has executed here will jump out at you; it lures you in like a witch with sweets. Before you know what has happened, you’ve already played the thing seven or eight times. I suppose that’s because the music Krzysztof Pieczarka came up with happens to be incredibly varied. He could easily put God’s Bow in the clubs but he chooses not to, turning his ministrations to more fulfilling concepts like setting and tone. God’s Bow are supremely mood driven when they decide it’s time to put out the lights and so they do on most of this record.
That feel of languid, liquid eyes you could drown in looking at you intently from across a candlelit room prevails over everything else for the duration of ‘Tranquilizer’. All is serene here until the picture shifts during a tune like “Fallen”. “Walls on fire, an end of Empire… old realm veiled with ashes”, this place we call home has a way of forcing the issue until we’re no longer quite sure who or where we are anymore. Nameless and without destination along ancient roads through forgotten lands under starry skies; our pair conjure these scenes and then take their leave allowing us to drink it all in…
To top things off, we get more instrumentals! Something which God’s Bow have always excelled at but given out stingily. They account for three songs out of ten this time and wow, they’re gorgeous little studies on melody cast against precision mechanics. Beautifully done contrasting portraits.
God’s Bow grow by leaps and bounds each time they decide to release a new album, this tradition continues on ‘Tranquilizer’. A record they made in seclusion and if you weren’t keeping a close watch on them you’d never know they’d done this, which is probably how they prefer it. I have followed them since they turned up in 1997 on a Hyperium records compilation and haven’t looked back. This band’s love of blending synthetics with decidedly human influences is a fine thing, a very fine thing indeed. While their song arrangements may have grown more intricate and at times are assembled strangely don’t doubt that you’re going to end up smitten.
God’s Bow – Tranquilizer
Requiem Records, Requiem 80