In A Dark Tongue
Neurot Recordings 2009
Steve Von Till, the mastermind behind Neurosis, issues his second full-length under his spaced-out drone project, Harvestman. The overall theme and mood of the album for me is one of communion; with nature, with one's self, with tranquility, etc. The opener, World Ash is a peaceful track comprised of a repetitive awkward melody that is layered upon with shimmering synth and brings to mind a spacier Earth and conjures images of the dawning sun. Folky guitars swim along with monolithic drone riffs while sharp notes rise out of the brooding depths on Karlsteine. The song is incredibly hefty with layer upon layer increasing the denseness of the track such that it mirrors the dense, deep forests unspoiled by man. Ambient solitude create an aura of stillness through warbling synths on Birch-Wood Bower. Whereas By Wind and Sun is more of a psychedelic rock journey with spacey synths amplifying the fat, fuzzed out guitars. The track features one of the few vocal appearances on the album as a washed out voice repeats the same line as an increasingly dense wave of noise crests and collapses. An Irish folk melody is painted with fuzzed out guitars and a throbbing drone undercurrent on Eibhli Ghail Chiuin Ni Chearbhail. The only song I really feel misses the mark on this album is the Hawk of Achill as it is a 10 minute exercise in monotony broken only by this high-pitched squeals that sound like a dentist's drill. After the first couple of minutes it really starts to grate on my nerves. In A Dark Tongue is an album of naturalistic introspection and a spiritual union of man and nature. If you seek an aural accompaniment to your treks into wooded glens then Harvestman can provide the soundtrack to that journey.