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Honeysuckle Æons

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Following on from three of the most visceral albums in his recent catalog, Black Ships Ate the Sky, Aleph at Hallucinatory Mountain, and Baalstorm, Sing Omega, David Tibet turns in a collection that is everything that its predecessors weren't, in sonic terms at least. The overwhelming mood of those preceding sets, after all, was the collaboration-drenched scaling of volcanoes of sound and volume. Here, the theremin is the most pronounced instrument, the voice the most cogent tool, and though Tibet's imagery remains as powerful as ever, without the emphasis that he normally calls upon sonics to deliver Honeysuckle Æons feels more like a solo spoken word album, its soul being a succession of scarcely accompanied vocal passages, almost poetic, almost spoken word -- and almost too much to take in one sitting. Of course there are highlights, both of vision and of delivery: "Lily," with its undertones of droning cataclysm; "Honeysuckle," riding a jaunty, almost fairground-like pattern; and "Planet," which is as pretty as it is brief. But with three tracks clocking in at under two minutes, and all but two cut short before five minutes, too much of this quiet, contemplative album feels as though Tibet is simply marking time, another of those pauses that he delivers between his greater works.

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