Wednesday, 17th October 2018. 1:41:57am ET
Reviews CD Reviews Gothic Attrition- In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts


ARTIST: Attrition

ALBUM: In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

LABEL: Two Gods Records

REVIEWER: Matthew J.

DATE: 9-18-08

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A collection of rarities, compilation appearances and the like, this album of early material isn't quite as essential as Attrition's studio albums, but nonetheless provides an intriguing overview of both the band's darkwave songs and their more experimental and ambient explorations. "Into the Waves" and "Dreamsleep" are the most stunning offerings here; both feature multiple layers of vocals from longtime Attrition contributor Julie Waller, who went by the stage name of Chryzz in the early '80s when these tracks were originally recorded, as well as band founder Martin Bowes' moody analog keyboard playing. While Waller's voice isn't as pristine and operatic here as it would be on later Attrition recordings, her comparative lack of polish only emphasizes the emotional expressiveness that makes these songs so haunting. "Surge and Run" highlights Attrition's more gothic side with guitars backing the atmospheric drumbeats as the vocals alternate between Waller's spooky whispers and Bowes' gravelly baritone, while "A'dam and Eva" is almost New Wave, with bouncing organs, staccato vocals, and even a bridge made up of dissonant brass. There's also no shortage of Attrition's more avant-garde offerings in evidence. "Marianne's Dream" is made up of moaning tape loops doing their best to sound like foghorns or possibly Tibetan dung chen horns, interspersed with muffled vocals and snippets of found sound, and "Questions" sees Waller delivering a contemplative spoken word piece over Bowes' baroque-inspired synthesizers and sampled birdsong. An impressive collection originally released in 1986, this remastered edition on Bowe's Two Gods Records label will make a fine addition to any budding Attrition fan's collection.

Visit Martin Bowes and friends at www.attrition.co.uk for more information about this release.


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