Trappist Afterland — God's Good Earth
(Sunstone SSLP1007, 2016, LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-06-29
One of the many joys with reviewing music for Exposé is being exposed to excellent new artists and music. Case in point is the Australian band Trappist Afterland. Hailing from Melbourne, Adam Cole (vocals, acoustic guitar, bohdran, bells, dulcitar, lute, oud, and tambura), Phil Coyle (tabla, frame drums, vocals, and percussion) and Nicholas Albanis (hammered dulcimer, Appalachian Dulcimer, and bowed psaltery) with guest musicians such as Andrew Whalley (guitar, loops, melodica, glockenspiel, dulcitar, and harmonium), HakGwai Lau (erhu, vocals, Chinese lute, and Chinese flute), Brett Poliness (harmonium and vocals) and Adam Casey (guitar, hurdy gurdy, voices, percussion, and loops) play a unique brand of mesmerizing acid folk / psych-folk integrating traditional instruments from a broad range of different cultures. God’s Good Earth is their sixth album since coming together in 2010. Spanning the decades, similar artists that come to mind are Witthüser & Westrupp, Fit & Limo, Stone Breath, Prydwyn, Trees, Steeleye Span, In Gowan Ring, and Comus. But even these comparisons don’t do the band and their music justice. Adam combines drones, chants, 60s psych folk, and other ethnic influences to create low key, yet trippy ritualistic songs. There is a bit of a religious theme running through the compositions akin to Timothy Renner’s Stone Breath dark folk songs. To supplement this mystique is the mediaeval cover art, The jaws of Hell fastened by an angel from the Psalter of Henry, Bishop of Blois c.1121-61. Out of the 10 songs on this limited edition LP, the ones that stand out for me are “Parasites (The Angel and the Wasp),” “No More Summer Caravans,” “Sundog,” “Treehouse by the Shore - Afterlander,” and “God Botherings Pt. 3.” While the majority of the songs rely on meditative drones and sitar, there are some inspired melodic elements. Though this limited edition LP is nearly sold out before its July 1, 2016 release date, you can still experience their music via their Bandcamp page.
Related artist(s): Trappist Afterland
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