Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Seven Horses For Seven Kings is an inspired new record from Black To Comm

"Seven Horses For Seven Kings"

Release date: 25 January 2019
Black to comm
31 January 2019, 13:27 Written by Chris Wheatley
By all accounts, Black To Comm, aka German musician Marc Richter, took an organic approach to creating the music on Seven Horses For Seven Kings, at times letting compositions grow from a single sound and taking care not to ‛over-sculpt’ the finished product.

This non-utilitarian approach has served him well, although it must be said that the album as a whole still hangs together as coherently as the most structured orchestral suite.

Opener “Asphodel Mansions,” is unsettling and powerful drone music. While the higher notes buzz from ear to ear like evil wasps a dark undercurrent of deep synth, treated voices and rattling percussion swells up in warning. On “A Miracle No-Mother Child At Your Breast,” off-kilter horns pull and harass. Witches whisper their dying curses. A thudding rhythm kicks in, kettle drums unearthed from the depths struck with tribal totems of a forgotten god.

“Lethe” rises up like an ominous alien beast, whose incomprehensible intelligence is the epitome of the terrifying unknown. “Ten Tons Of Rain In A Plastic Cup,” announces itself with high-pitched brass and swirling ambient-electronic clatter. The inner workings of a ancient-future machine. Jagged guitar-chords strike, the totem-drums beat a uneven pulse. Clatter rises like a biblical flood. Beautiful and portentous orchestral washes dig into the heart, as thrillingly disorientating as a nightmare.

“Licking The Fig Tree,” is the untrustworthy quiet after the storm. There is some beautiful skewed sax here, reminiscent of the mesmerising flights of fancy that Ornette Coleman weaved so well. By “Fly On You,” we are at the half-way point. Mechanical percussion pistons and pulls, whirring strings whiz over our heads, bound for who-knows-where, stirring up flocks of doom-laden guitar and vulture-like horns.

In “Double Happiness In Temporal Decoy,” fragments of piano lay down footprints as we follow along an extraterrestrial shore under a red sky of strained noise. “If Not, Not,” pushes locomotive-like at a punishing pace, black metal arms pummelling the tracks while discordant, squelchy guitar and bright keys lead us into a void of calling angels and warning trills.

The relative ‛peace’ of “The Deseret Alphabet,” with its scattered percussion and chiming synth takes us to “Semirechye,” where drums spatter like heavy rain on plastic roofs while an unseen menace lurks outside. “Rameses II,” thunders royally. Deep horns declare a warning. Tight strings pick and pry at our nerves. Something terrible is about to occur.

“Angel Investor,” opens with bright synth arpeggios over warm washes. This is the brightest that Seven Horses ever sounds. Even now, the ensuing heavenly drone comes on like a monolith, so magnificent and powerful that it subsumes and overpowers even as it lifts. Closer, the magnificently named “The Courtesan Jigokudayo Sees Herself As A Skeleton In The Mirror Of Hell,” leads us gently through the aftermath of our jumbled psyche, past ambient pools where light sparks and fizzes in volcanic water. Snatches of radio transmissions bubble and fade with all the beauty and folly of humanity.

Seven Horses is an ambitious soundtrack experience which works perfectly and will leave you moved, inspired, cleansed and a little afraid.

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