Monday, June 04, 2007

Changes-Fire of Life (1974, Apokalyptic/ Dark Folk)

This album has never been issued until now and is taken from tapes made during 1969 to 1974 by Robert Taylor and Nicholas Teslak. In theory they make simple acoustic guitar based folk music similar to Tir Na Nog, however this is much stranger and darker concern. The two performers were part of the 'Process' church, a cult like group that was obsessed with apocalypse, gothic doom and was also interested in Satan. They had a curious uniform of black clothes, clocks shoulder length hair and goatee beards. Taking themselves very seriously they were part of the proliferation of such post-hippie groups and were much seen in London and New York in the late sixties before splintering and falling apart. Musically this album is stark, very dark folk based songs with acoustic guitar, intense vocals, gothic lyrics and occasional harmony vocals and flutes. Fans of dark folk groups like Current 93 or Nature and Organisation will find much here that they will enjoy. Also fans of Comus, the legendary pagan psychedelic-folk band of the same era will find a companion album of similar sound and strangeness.
Because the artists take themselves so seriously this music can be slightly intimidating. I is fine musically but doesn't stand out emotionally, it is more haunting than moving. The first song 'Fire of Life' taken from is intense and unsettling with it's lyrics of 'the world if burning, in fact it sounds just like late period Swans and Michael Gira their leader singing. The second song 'Sweet Eve' is more normal sounding like Tir Na Nog with flute and delicate melodies. 'Bleeding Out Your Feelings Evermore' is a baroque ballad style song with a female joining on the vocals to excellent effect. 'Early Morning Hours of the Night' reminds of early Steve Tilston with a distant quality. 'Horizons That I See' has nice folk picking guitar and was written in a desert. A song fragment from a lost fuller work 'Satanic Hymn #2' is churning in the Comus style. 'The Stranger In The Mirrow' is a pagan Medieval styled ballad Last track 'Twilight of the West' is a ten minute epic recorded poorly but strangely this seems to add to the air of incense and intensity. This won't be an album that will appeal to everyone, but those attracted to the darker and stranger edges of psychedelic folk will find much to enjoy. These are essentially amateur tapes but there is enough here to entertain and occasionally put a chill up the spine, from the unbroken circle.

One of my all time favorites.
If you like folk, this is for you.
'Bleeding Out Your Feelings Evermore' has haunted me...


Blogger βλαχακι (το) said...

αχά! αυτό θα εξηγούσε τις στυλιστικές επιλογές του charles manson... lol
το δισκάκι συμπαθητικό, nevertheless! :)

1:44 AM  

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