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Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Songs From The Sepulchre, 23 Sept. 2010
This review is from: Stridulum II (Audio CD)
Zola Jesus is Nika Rosa Danilova and her new album
'Stridulum II' is a very nice little nightmare.
She possesses a strong voice which runs the full
gamut of colours from grey through to black.

The nine pieces in this collection combine big
echoing back-beats and dense washes of atmospheric
synth chords as a framework for her tortured vocal
performances. Truth-be-told there is very little
variation in the design and dynamics of her vocal lines
but this seems to occur more by design than chance.

It's moody old stuff from top to tail but for those
of us with an appetite for the dark side there is
much to engage our attention and imagination. I was
particularly drawn to a wonderfully maudlin number
entitled 'Run Me Out'. The reverberating four-note
drone throbs along menacingly giving Ms Jesus a splendid
opportunity to fully indulge her dystopian muse.

'Tower' is another jolly slice of Gothic turbulence.
There's a slow blues chugging away just below the surface
but the deadpan vocal delivery ensures that it never quite
bursts out of its bonds to enjoy a moment or two in the sun!

Crikey! 'Sea Talk' has a melody which (with a little
practice) you could almost sing along to. For one
uncanny moment an image came into my mind's eye of
Ms Jesus sporting an enormous beehive hairdo! (The spirit
of Phil Spector may well have been smiling in the wings).

If Diamanda Galas and Bono had spawned a love child the
product of that unlikely union might well have sounded a
bit like our heroine on 'I Can't Stand'. Epic melancholia.

Final track 'Lightsick' offers no respite from the
all-pervading gloom but in the stripped-down arrangement
for (clumsily hammered) piano and voice Ms Jesus
nonetheless manages to deliver something close to tangibly
articulated emotion. A curiously affecting conclusion.

Don't expect too many laughs and like me you may find
much to admire in this magnificently sepulchral confection.

Recommended.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Oct 2010 21:33:07 BDT
Diziet says:
Hummm! From grey to black...
Sounds a bit Nico/Siouxsie/Cocteaus to me. Er...fun?
:-)

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2010 22:27:44 BDT
The Wolf says:
Hello Ms Toast

Super-creepy to the max!

Give it a go....

Best Wishes

The Wolf

Posted on 15 Dec 2010 14:51:45 GMT
Ted Maul says:
To those who enjoyed this record: may I also recommend her collab with LA Vampires. It's better.

In reply to an earlier post on 15 Dec 2010 18:56:20 GMT
The Wolf says:
Dear T.M.

Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a go.

Best Wishes

The Wolf
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Review Details

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Reviewer

The Wolf
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   

Location: uk

Top Reviewer Ranking: 35