Spires That In The Sunset Rise - "This Is Fire"
(Secret Eye 2006, AB-OC-28)
From Aural Innovations #35 (January 2007)
I admit I had a hard time getting into the last album I reviewed by this group of four highly unconventional folksters from Chicago. But I've really tweaked to the whole freak folk thing since then, and decided to give Spires That In the Sunset Rise another listen on their latest album, This Is Fire. I think the four band members have tweaked a little too since then. Oh, they're still as eccentric as ever, and the music is challenging and deeply strange in a beautiful sort of way, but they've also refined their sound. It's a little less chaotic, with more of a focus on crafting melodies and rhythms. Fans of the terminally bizarre may cringe at that, but it was something that was welcome to me. But not to worry, the music is still filled with creepy, brushing string sounds; complex, shifting structures; dissonant tones and dreamy and nightmarish imagery. You can't help feeling like you're lost in some mist shrouded forest at night, and you've just come into a clearing where four mysterious women sit on the rocks in ragged robes, acoustic instruments in their hands, singing to the moon and the spirits of the night. Fans of bands like Comus and Current 93 will love this stuff, and I enjoyed it much more this time around too. Amidst the burgeoning psych/folk scene, these women are true originals, with certainly one of the most adventurous sounds of the genre.
For more information you can visit the Spires That In The Sunset Rise web site at: http://www.spiresthatinthesunsetrise.com
Visit the Secret Eye web site at: http://www.secreteye.org.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald