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- Spirits Of The Sun by The Slaves
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Here we’ve got Portland duo The Slaves with a full length of their hypno-spiritual guitar/synth/vocal incantations on the ever-reliable Digitalis. The formula is simple. The singing is slow and drawn out, almost chanty in places; the synths chime and drone with a similar doomy singularity of purpose, while the guitar offers up mountains of hissing static scree, lapping gently at your ankles while you drift through the ether. On opener ‘111’ the vocals very much dominate the sound, but by ‘The Field’ the vocals are completely obscured by sheets of guitar and synth noise for quite an uplifting bit of chaotic cosmic drone and flutter.
On the second side we’ve got ‘The Field’ which opens with an ominous sequence of bassy synth throbs which are slowly joined by more trebly tones and sheet-metal guitar buzz. It’s kind of like they’ve taken the melodic structures of doom but paired them with cosmic ambient textures and tones for a slow, melodic, relaxing and gently thrilling listen with just enough crunching discomfort from the guitars to keep it from falling into Enya territory...
In fact Phil just said, “You can tell it sounds a bit like Grouper because it sounds a bit like Enya in places”, so what do I know? Personally I think think there’s more of Fuck Buttons’ dirty euphoria to their sound than Enya. What I do know is that the epic rumbling cosmic closer ‘Born Into Light’ is making me feel like I’m a hero in a sci-fi film flying off into infinity after saving the day. This is a really indulgently satisfying listen and I would happily listen to it again as soon as it finished if only I didn’t have so many records to review!
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