A vehemently fey and studiously intellectual album of prog art folk that revolves around twin tenets of diatonic plainsong-like vocal harmonies and pounding primitive tom toms. I was thinking on my second listen that it comes over as a concept album with the vocal sound being similar throughout and a very structured approach, and by all accounts I’m right. This is an album that is about the persecution of witches at one time or another (probably in Scotland) and if you can imagine Animal Collective collaborating with the Smiths on such a project, whilst living off the land in the middle of fucking nowhere then that would give you a vague idea of what this sounds like.
One of the big positives of this album is its proud intelligence. Who would have thought you’d get to hear a lyric like “pale and putrid metal tongued polemic” in these barbaric times ? Its musical intelligence is also unquestionable with elements of drone and art rock seamlessly interwoven with the main fabric of slightly Victorian occult ritual soundtrack. This bizarre collision of influences is inspired by Twin Peaks (one of the reasons the duo came together) so if you detect a Lynchian dark underbelly to the music, this might well be one of the reasons.
My only complaints would be that the vocal harmonies and pounding toms make it sound a bit same-y by the end, and though “Monument” is a great song, if I was given the reins on this project I would have kept it to ten songs, ending it with “The Possessed” which is the point where the album seems to end naturally. A minor complaint though and overall I like this album a lot more than I thought I would and would heartily recommend buying it, retreating to a log cabin and conducting a séance while listening to the spooky sounds of “The Devils”.