Shadow, Thief of the Sun

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Released just before a four-year layoff, Shadow, Thief of the Sun is both one of :zoviet*france:'s better releases as well as one of its rarer albums (the label it was on, Death of Vinyl, had limited distribution and eventually went out of business). While :zoviet*france: often wanders out into fairly random soundscapes, most of the material here is grounded by a drone of some sort, with atmospheric chanting and other instrumentation designed to complement the drone. The drones aren't particularly heavy-handed, and sometimes it even threatens to float away altogether, as on the 20-minute-plus "Come Infinite," which knits together the delicate threads of scattered percussion and woodwinds. About the hardest edge here is the percussion-heavy "Cahi-Yn-Yan," but even that percussion has so much echo that it seems almost gentle, too. It's not as if stuff like this hasn't been done before -- indeed, in places it's very reminiscent of early Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. About the only real complaint that you could aim against Shadow, Thief of the Sun is that it runs over an hour, thanks to the many lengthy tracks here, but for those who love industrial drones, that just means there's that much more material to submerge yourself into. Definitely recommended.

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