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TWELVE THOUSAND DAYS, "THE DEVIL IN THE GRAIN"

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Martyn Bates (Eyeless in Gaza) and Alan Trench (Orchis) return with their second album as Twelve Thousand Days.
Unlike their 2000 debut "In the Garden of Wild Stars" which featured some traditional arrangements and excerpts of Alfred Lord Tennyson and W. B. Yates, "Devil" is entirely composed by Bates/Trench. But the poet laureate spirit remains strong in Bates precious words and delivery. I often find the music and mix of his projects, especially this one, an annoying obstacle between his wondrous voice and myself. Here it's bothersome with headphones but without it works just fine. The ten songs are a pretty, sort of mystical and medieval folk with acoustic guitars, unidentified drones, flute and tambourine, often drenched in reverb. "Glistening Praise" and the title track are the lengthiest, the latter over 10 minutes, and they veer off into valleys of instrumental atmospherics. Near the end "The Hand of Glory" disrupts everything, unfortunately, with a blast of electrified guitar noise. But the final track "Plea" placates my own plea by showcasing only the vocal. At first I didn't think this album compared to my favorite Bates work, such as "Dance of Hours" and the "Murder Ballads" and "Chamber Music" series, but it continues to grow on me.

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Last Updated on Friday, 15 July 2005 16:55  


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