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10/10 The Doc 27th May 2016
This is a wonderful little album that showcases the sound of a truly unique band indulging their weird side for all that it's worth. The soundscapes are much sparser than on previous (and later) outings with little or no percussion on most of the tracks, but that just adds to the effect. The guitars sparkle, swoon and swirl with magic and Liz Frazer's achingly lovely vocals float on top of them like rays of light from a new-born star. Galaxies glow, undulate, fade to black and explode into life again.
This is trippy stuff even by the standards of this trippiest of bands, and it sounds like nothing else in the world. Describing how the Cocteaus sound is like trying to explain the taste of ice cream to someone who's never eaten it; it's nigh-on impossible, and all the usual words like 'heavenly' and 'ethereal' that get thrown around so often with reference to them just don't do the sound justice. If you've never heard the band before then this probably isn't the best place to start (try 'Four Calendar Cafe' for something slightly more 'conventional' or 'Treasure' if you want to get a feel for the early stuff) but if you've already got those albums then you really should think about buying this one as well. Blissful stuff.
9/10 Jack 25th June 2015
Both shimmery and overpowering, this is a recording with both vastness and intricacy, like the massive snowpack made up of individual crystals which covers the territory the release is named for. Of all of their releases this is perhaps the most personal, and certainly the most haunting, plunging listeners into their own transcendent interior landscape(s). It's not the ideal entry point for someone just coming to the `Twins ("Treasure" is the one I'd recommend), but it's a vital, necessary recording, and not just for rabid completists.
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