Eternal Tapestry

A World Out of Time

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Eternal Tapestry's albums are usually culled and sculpted from studio marathons that reflect their sprawling jam-based approach. A World Out of Time marks a departure. These eight tunes were recorded holistically as an album, then edited to become a flowing collage. ET haven't left their late psychedelic and experimental tropes behind, but they've honed them sharply. Opener "When I Was in Your Mind,” by far the longest track here at nearly 13 minutes, employs one e-bow to Frippertronics-like effect and then mirrors it with another, played in more conventionally rockist terms. It gradually unfolds epically. While the guitar interplay between Nick Bindeman and Dewey Mahood is normally the centerpiece of the band's sound, on this cut Jed Bindeman's singularly inventive jazz drums are mixed up top. His swinging sense of groove presents a wonderful contrast to the chunky chords, drifting, droning leads, and Ryan Carlile's pulsing organ. Krag Likins' rocksteady bassline walks a bridge between all parties. "Alone Against Tomorrow" sounds like the middle of a free-form jam when it begins, but there is a hidden architecture at work, and its formlessness gives way to psych formalism (à la Älgarnas Trädgård). "The Weird Stone" commences with a hypnotic six-string vamp countered by another guitar employing powerful wah-wah and distortion. They power into the fore before fading into Carlisle's shimmering, spacy, analog synth (think Faust's "Apocalypse Troll") -- an uber-heavy interlude that simply rips the intro riff of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" and, in less than three minutes, pushes it so far to the margin, it becomes something else -- without ever abandoning the melody. "When Gravity Fails" is a monstrous, churning group blowout followed by "The Currents of Space," whose pace is slower, sketchier; the guitarists play off one another contrapuntally and showcase colorful chord voicings. Closer "Sand Into Rain" is an acoustically driven psych-tinged folk number, and the only cut with vocals. It doesn't initially feel like it belongs; its airy textures, hand percussion, and breezy, backed singing sound almost too laid-back. But it's this one track that can and does close this circle of interlocked grooves. In A World Out of Time, ET have given listeners a near perfect balance of precision and exploration that walks the tightrope between organic live playing and focused studio attention. This is the sound of a band coming fully into its own.

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