English Heretic have made it their project to preserve the psychological thriller that is the British landscape, through a new incarnation of neo -folk and psychedelia. If you look at press photos you will find pictures of mountains. Their new record, 'The Underworld Service', is a concept record based around a radio show happening down in hell. Lots of death and darkness, as always, for English Heretic.
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- The Underworld Service by English Heretic
9/10 Mike Staff review, 15 September 2014
The mysterious English Heretic return this week with a baffling new sonic journey, which comes complete with a colour printed 48 page book containing essays and pictures to help the listener navigate its dense mixture of neofolk, hauntology, post-rock and sonic experimentation. Through a slowly-unfolding mixture of samples, spoken word and the stoic plainsong-esque purity of singer Hannah Gilbert - in sharp contrast with the harsher rasping tones of mastermind Andy Sharp - they explore philosophy, '60s-to-'80s pop culture, folklore and zombies in a lengthy imagined transmission from the abyss.
It's a tough one to describe in a couple of paragraphs because there's really so much going on. Opener 'Inside The Mausoleum' hints at almost Death In Vegas-ish post-rock theatrics with its slow-building precision, but then you've got numbers like 'Perigrine' which rips the guitar hook from Fleetwood Mac's 'Albatross' and sets it against weirdly detached poetry and speech samples, or 'Let Sleeping Corpses Lie' with its folksy singing, stonily droning strings and awkward loops of mutated field recordings, while the closing title track has subtle dark ambient squeaks and drones and static while two men discuss extracting a soul from a body. Really excellent stuff - ambitious, slightly insane and coldly unpredictable.
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