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Top Customer Reviews
Hospice is a "once in a group's lifetime record" where every song/piece fits into the collection. I have read that this album was the result of the lead singer's experience of having endured an abusive relationship with someone suffering from cancer. The songs manage to commit to music the gamut of emotions of a deteriorating bond with a dying person. I also have to say that while I never like singers playing tricks with their voices, the lead's falsetto is near essential for this.
In my mind the first three songs are laments: sorrowful 'Kettering', raging 'Sylvia' and quiet reflective 'Atrophy'.
Then there are two songs which deliver an uplifting musical accompaniment :'Bear' which manages to mix acceptance and the vulgarity of the situation. 'Two' which relates the desperate silliness in the mess, recounting the memories that lead up to it. My previous reviews never appeared because I quoted certain lines with profanity in Bear, but I dare say all of it is justified in this album by making the lyrics very powerful.
Following that, there is the return to the hush of dying and death with 'Shiva'. 'Wake' is the singer's attempt to put a point across to the departed but it sounds like he is repeating the mantra to himself to make it real.
Then to reiterate the group's creative streak, the happiest tune in the record, 'Bear', gets twisted into a hollow and macabre sadness of loss: 'Epilogue'.
There are two non-lyric pieces which I thought were originally fillers: 'Prologue' and 'Thirteen'. On repeat listening to the album as a whole they are vital placemarks and tone setters. Unfortunately if you're sampling this never gets across properly.Read more ›
The lyrics are deep, harrowing and often brutal in their storytelling. But they are perfectly matched by frontman Peter Silberman's shaky falsetto vocals, which, coupled with the albums overall content makes Hospice at times reminiscent of Arcade Fire's Funeral. I don't like pulling out standout tracks when the album is so cohesive as a complete composition, but hey, I'm going to. First single `Bear' is beautiful and vulnerable, as Silberman's shivering vocals tell the story of an abortion, whilst `Two' raises the tempo and builds to an epic final verse.
To echo Silbermans lyrics from `Two' - "You had a new dream, it was more like a nightmare", the album is musically dream-like with gentle melodies building in vast crescendos, whilst the lyrical content is so deep and morbid in comparison, as the story of this nightmarish situation unfolds.
The album works fantastically, it had me hooked by the heartstrings in the same way Bon Iver's For Emma, Forever Ago did last year. Hospice is gentle on the ear, but heavy on the mind, balanced perfectly to create wonderful wintery listening.
Give it a chance however and you may open yourself
up to an extraordinary and memorable musical experience.
An album whose central subject is about pain and loss
will not endear it to major industry exposure.
Not that this should concern us. We have our own minds after all.
Peter Silberman and his cohorts Darbi Cicci and Michael Lerner
give us a glimpse behind the curtains of usually private grief.
An album devoted to the experience of losing a loved other to cancer.
Silberman's whole being seems to rise to the challenge
in these 10, often harrowing, compositions.
A voice strained and cracked and bleeding with raw emotion.
Sometimes pouring out of the tangled centre of the mix;
sometimes disembodied and trying to work its way in from the outside;
always focussed, however, and fiercly committed to the terrible truth
of the project's subject. Brave and uncompromising.
A track by track deconstruction would seem somehow
ignoble given the integrity of its creator's vision.
It is a powerfully realised coherent whole. A true labour of love.
There is light and shade even in some of the darkest places however
but the melodic and dynamic variation rarely let's us get too far away
from the suffocating reality of the tragedy unfolding before us.
The song 'Thirteen' is one of the saddest
and most haunting songs I have ever heard.
The unique energy communicated by this wonderful album is unimpeachable.
Musically and emotionally satisfying, this has immediately eased it's melancholy way into my top ten. Just brilliant.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived just out of time. packaging seemed to have been threw a lot, but vinyl was ok.Published on 10 July 2014 by Brecht Creyns
I really didn't expect this to be great but it's beautiful, moving, eerily sung, and a fantastic concept for an album. Also surprisingly great to sing along to.Published on 24 April 2014 by Charli Douglas
It's a decent album. Seems like every lyric had a meaning to the writer, which is refreshing, since it plays almost like a story. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2012 by Mat
You should listen to this album from the first track to the last. That's the best way to appreciate Antlers and their unique musicPublished on 6 Nov. 2011 by muratceyhan
Having a very close friend pass away from gastric cancer, I was introduced to this album by another friend who saw how low I was, and initally changed his mind and didn't want to... Read morePublished on 29 Sept. 2011 by Forbidden City Cop
Hospice is heavy. There's no denying it. It's an open-eyed representation of what it is to live through a loved one's suffering at the hands of cancer. Read morePublished on 23 July 2011 by kingrizla2000