[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
The perfect opportunity to get to know them, a compendium of their personal favorites with a couple of new treats thrown into the bargain. Actual physical proof that they exist is another way to look at this because they don’t exactly make it easy to keep tabs on what they’re up to; I know I know, there’s a bandcamp and a facebook page but really, those are concessions to the modern age and nothing more. If they had their way this group would appear live and only at the shows would you find their merchandise and only there would you be able to hear just what it is they’re capable of.
I’d have to be content writing a history of them rather than cover their current musical whereabouts. Not pleasant to consider but there we are.
With close quarters harmonies and a nice jazz background to get it all started we hit the ground running and move through some choice selections that demonstrate just how adept they are as songwriters. In four minutes or less you get to experience entire tableaus of sound, worlds within worlds via “The Weeping Tree”, “Lankin Jig” and “Cloister”. Hone it down more and you’ll get “Port of Arundel” while DollyDolly collaboratively resides on “Reading Abbey”. Point is, no fat is to be found on this record. Not a single molecule of it; now just what could make this any more of a necessity to own, you ask.
“Out of the Unknown” is one I hadn’t heard before and my does it do the business thanks to an array of brass, percussion and space-age atmospheres moving things along. Longer than what they usually write it changes shape, tone and even acoustics several times; seriously, you have to hear this one because it alone would be worth the price of admission ah but then you wouldn’t get to experience what they save for last and it’s a beauty.
Revbjelde take their previous release “For Albion” and give it over to the editing suite, now this is not some sort of specious remix nor is it them indulging in filler. There are elements which can be recognized from before but they are completely overwhelmed by what gets crammed into those blissful yet angry measures. Yet again it must be noted that things are not going as all those who wanted to leave thought they would in Albion… do I even have to discuss the trainwreck we’re in the midst of over here, didn’t think so.
For all that is being thrown our respective ways these recordings are a reminder of what can flourish despite everything just out of reach in the shadows.