Exposé Online banner

Church of Hed — Electric Sepulcher
(Eternity's Jest EJ0067, 2015, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-11-28

Electric Sepulcher Cover art

Paul Williams is the drummer, synthesist, and producer of Quarkspace, but with that band now seemingly in hiatus (their next regular album was supposed to be released in 2010, but never was, although their excellent Spacefolds series of band improvisations, now numbering a dozen, continued through 2013) Williams’ primary outlet is now his solo electronic project Church of Hed, of which Electric Sepulcher is the third release. While the compositions on the nine cuts herein are clearly in the progressive rock vein, the arrangements are more informed by space rock, Berlin school electronica (Klaus Schulze, Kraftwerk, and Neu! most prominently), as well as American synthesists like the late Michael Garrison. Much of the material is textured and built upon layered sequences, with shifting and dreamy melodies simmering above it all. Then again, of the more ‘space rock’ oriented material, “House Tron” will provide the listener with a solid example. Being a drummer as well as a keyboardist (yes, Klaus Schulze was also…) Williams' electronic drum kit fits in well with the all-electronic arrangements, yet provides a certain distinguished percussive sensitivity that seems to be lacking in the work of many other keyboardists who don’t have that same background. The title track seems to explore a more avant-garde path that might fit in well in the motion picture soundtrack realm, with it’s dark and menacing underpinnings, and yet all the while finding a sensory groove that moves forward steadily as the piece proceeds through its seven minute duration. Farther out from that, we have “Godspeed You Alien Dingo” that opens with its bubbling textures swirling above and below the less active washes that flow throughout that part of piece, eventually settling into a sequenced pattern with melodic piano highlighting the journey, eventually morphing into the structure of the piece while lush sequences and soaring synth dweedles continue throughout. If you miss the old days when electronic music was progressive and innovative, and not just a brain-dead wallpaper of 4/4 dance beats, then Electric Sepulcher is definitely worthy of exploration.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Paul Williams (Church of Hed)

Latest news

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Garland - Control Songs – David Garland is one of a rather small group of experimental singer/song writers. They are not cut from same bolt of cloth as, say, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell or James Taylor. Instead, Garland, along...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues