Blood Warrior are a duo, bringing their combined talents (honed in O’Death and Super Monster) to the folk music they love. Letter Ghost successfully captures the vague eeriness that accompanies the best English folk, and the vocals have a slight tang of Bill Callahan about them. An atmospheric work, on Immune.
8/10 Robin Staff review, 12 August 2015
“This is some sort of doom metal record”, opines Clint, laying down the most ostensible statement ever. This is in fact a rather twanging record from two artists trying to honour their love of folk music, making a sound that’s pastoral but not calmed, echoing Mount Eerie’s tense and submissive relationship with nature -- like him, “my heart is not at peace” would be a good mission statement for the acoustic epics this duo are conjuring, though they are able to find a lush and often beautiful sound.
‘Letter Ghost’ opens on a brightly picked number that gets buried underneath huge, rock-crumbling chords and handclap percussion that sounds like it could start an avalanche. It’s gorgeous, but it bleeds into the ominous “You Were”, a meandering folk tune that sort of forgets the story being told and rolls into morose strumming and declarative piano chords that Nick Cave would make from the back of the room. This unease can be heard in marching percussion and the chaos of the band’s arrangements (the accordion crashing with overloud vocal harmonies on “Desolate Ways”), but it’s always granted a sense of levity from the nasal vocals, which tremble forward like John Darnielle and Chad VanGaalen worrying as one.
On the flip there’s some absolutely stunning works to be found, such as “Untitled”, which feels melodically reminiscent of Andrew Bird’s “Desparation Breeds” but around fuller, more patiently unfurling arrangements. It’s probably the duo’s best moment on a record of full-proof slowcore folk that gives its listener a real nice view to look at.
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