Unto Ashes — Grave Blessings
(Projekt 172, 2005, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01Given their penchant for unusual melodic angles, middle-eastern modalities, medieval and gothic stylisms, and folky mysticism, one would be amiss to review this band without mentioning some similarities with – and the obvious influence of Dead Can Dance. That said however, Unto Ashes does them one or two better, especially in the vocal department; the harmonies between the three primary members (Michael Laird, Natalia Lincoln, and Mariko) are nothing short of superb, and take the material to a whole new level. Instrumentation is provided by Laird (guitar, dulcimer, percussion, hammered dulcimer), Lincoln (keyboard), and a number of guests playing everything from french horn and balalaika to cello and didgeridoo, as well as additional vocals. The instrumentation is sparse on some cuts, and more full on others, giving a strong sense of variety across the fifteen pieces, but always arriving at a perfect balance with the voices. The material is a combination of band arrangements of ancient and traditional pieces, and original collaborations by the three primaries (and occasionally the guests as well), each with its own unique character and spirit. The songs here never get samey – there seems to be a new twist at every turn, and the disc fares all the better for it. Press the repeat button again, please.
Related artist(s): Unto Ashes
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more