Picking up where "Salo" left off on their last release, this album strikes me, after my third listen, as (almost) a single song in 6 parts or movements. They're all long, they're all as dark and deep and booming and hollow and spaced as the inside of the enemy spacecraft in the first "Alien" movie, with an overwhelming surface similarity reminiscent in character (if not in tone) of the first Neu! album.
That said, the inside of Brian McMahan's head must look quite a bit like the H.R. Giger interiors of that grounded alien ship, too. Or like the scapes of H.P. Lovecraft's "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath." Everything dark, charred, every movement carefully, carefully considered, betrayal and death lurking on the fringes of your vision like a surety of wolves at dusk. "Tales" is the most arresting, opening with Kim Deal's brief take on "When You Wish Upon a Star," breathed like a futile prayer before opening the cellar door and descending on rickety old steps into the dank chill maliciousness of the song. "A Tribute To" sounds the most like The For Carnation's earlier work: quiet, lyrically stretched out, held together and aloft by a meager but insistent skeleton of bass strings. The others chug along in the fashion one associates with the band -- i.e. a for carnation is a for carnation is a for carnation -- black and wet and trippy, the wide cold distances between stars, the strange haunting lyrics causing random, rusty neurons to fire in the memory, and begging the same question with each repetition: just what the hell is Brian McMahan singing about? I don't know, but I'll have another anyway. Best for late at night, alone, pensive; goes exceedingly well with Scotch, ganj, or both.