The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm

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For someone so young (21 at the time), Entrance (aka Guy Blakeslee) has an exceptional grasp of prewar blues. The most telling example is his cover of the 1930s classic "I'm So Glad," which does justice to Skip James like Nirvana did to Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" The rest of The Kingdom of Heaven Must Be Taken by Storm is just as raw and blues-influenced, but also shares an anti-folk sentiment that warrants comparison to early Bob Dylan (here Entrance covers Dylan's "Tommy Thumb's Summertime Blues"). The former bassist for the Convocation of..., Blakeslee's unconventional style -- a left-hander who plays a flipped-over right-handed guitar -- yields unanticipated tempo changes, quick rhythms, and a powerful vocal range. He adds slide guitar and piano on these lonesome ditties where appropriate, but otherwise, Blakeslee is able to bring forth genuine passion all by himself. "A Farewell to My Friends," the record's closer, is a haunting piece that captures all the despondency of the blues. An invigorating debut.

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