Exposé Online banner

Unto Ashes — Grave Blessings
(Projekt 172, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Grave Blessings Cover artGiven 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.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Unto Ashes

Latest news

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rousseau - Square the Circle – This is the third album by this German six-piece, probably better known for their first album Flower in Asphalt, with which they developed a reputation of being essentially a decent Camel clone. Over...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues