The Melting Pot
1. The Haunting Presence
2. Blackest Bile
3. Grave Filled with Books
4. Empty Churches
5. I'm Going to Do It
6. Spectral Bride
7. No One is Ever Going to Want Me
8. A Sleeping Heart
9. Buried Above Ground
So, this past weekend, I was going to write-up a list of my favorite 10 albums of the first half of 2011, much like I did last year, but then I listened to a bunch of other albums that I had yet to listen to, and I started to second guess myself. I felt weird putting some of these albums on the list since I hadn't really listened to them all that much, but I felt even weirder leaving them off. Maybe once I've settled down and am a bit more confident in my list I'll make a post, but until then I'll stick to some indiviudal reviews.
One of those albums was Giles Corey - Giles Corey. Of course, the real Giles Corey has been dead for 319 years, and considering he was pressed to death, I doubt he's able to strum a guitar. The name is merely a front for Dan Barrett of Have a Nice Life. If you're not familiar with Have a Nice Life, I highly recommend you check them out. Just for a brief background, the band is a project of two friends, Dan Barrett and Tim Macuga, who took $1000, a wealth of knowledge about obscure, ancient cults, and crafted an album of some of the best doom/drone/shoegaze/etc. you've ever heard. After completing the album, the two started up Enemies List Home Recordings to release their albums, and have since started new projects to release under the ELHR umbrealla.
The latest of those albums is Giles Corey. This new project is described by Barrett himself as "acoustic music from the end of the Industrial Revolution" and I really can't think of a better desciptor myself. The songs are sparse, dreary, cold, yet ultimately beautiful. Fascinated with the supernatural and life after death and death, the album contains snippets of EVP recordings, ghostly choirs, haunting organs, and the gloomiest americana influences you'll probably ever hear. The album begins with the weighty (NO PUN INTENDED I SWEAR) "The Haunting Presence", which ends with about two minutes of incoherent yelling and piano-banging, which according to a book that accompanies the album, was recorded while Barrett was unconscious. Also, despite its ultra-dramatic title "No One is Ever Going to Want Me" is a great, slow, brooding track that picks up in the last couple minutes to a roaring climax and chorus.
If you're interested in dark, brooding acoustic rock, or mysticism from the Industrial Revolution, or anything in between, make sure to check out Giles Corey and the accompanying book. If you need any more reason to Giles Corey, or any other ELHR recordings out, then maybe I should point out that they're from Middlefield, CT and supporting local bands is really cool.