REVIEWED BY ROBERTO LAMBOOY
Verdun (2004; RCI 829757-81682-1) 38m
This album by Verdun moves through
different atmospheres. Opener Dream Of The Black Horse feels a bit
like a Dead Can Dance track, severely helped along by the traditional feel and
the wordless chanting.
Page Of Swords has a strong lingering
bass and the sax brings in a jazzy feel. Apart from that the atmosphere is still
very laid back and mesmerizing. The vocals have now attained meaning, and the
semblance of Roebuck's vocals is now more to The Gathering's Anneke van Griensven.
Haze (yes, the Jimi Purple Haze) is played at a lower speed and with a
lot more drum rolls. This track has obtained quite a different feeling. And on
this rendition it's clear that it is the sky being kissed, not this guy. But it
can't even begin to suggest the difference rendered on Stand By Your Man. This
almost has something of a slow White Stripes feeling instrumentally with Lee Clayton's
voice over them, thus changing the perspective of the song. If it weren't for
the lyrics, you wouldn't recognize this one. Where I severely dislike the original
song this version is mesmerizing.
Song To A Sparrow is cello
with Roebuck's high vocals. Quite fragile. April is very rhythmic
and choppy yet oriental mainly because of Hoang's vocals, which continue into
Nightfall. The lingering bass we've had before returns, the drums
are to the fore quite a bit. The piano is used to create dissonants, while the
guitar pushes the melody forth. Nice track.
Closer Fate has
Roebuck's high vocals over a military drum roll and high keys. The throbbing bass
in the back and oriental strings during the instrumental session.
mingles different cultures into quite an interesting whole on this one. There
are Vietnamese influences as well as American and European. The result is more
art rock than it is purely progressive, and with it this album is both interesting
as well as a good listen. Good stuff.