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Wash the Sins Not Only the Face

Wash the Sins Not Only the Face

21 Jan 2013
4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I heard EATW accidentally when I tuned in to 6 Music one evening - the first band they reminded me of was The Cranes, but I've added Evanescence since then; It all sounds a bit tortured and gothic, (with a small "g") , I like the way they create a sense of off-centred alienation but keep a sense of proportion while they're doing it - it doesn't degenerate into feedback and shouting at any point. Recommended!
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Format: Audio CD
Despite its direct translation from a Greek palindrome, there's something slightly clunky about that album title and it's not the only problem needing mention here, for there's been something mildly amiss throughout the majority of the small Esben And The Witch catalogue to date.

As dark and claustrophobic as their debut LP Violet Cries was, for example, it only truly seemed to come alive on stage where, amongst other things, those monolithic hand-drums served as a sombre rallying cry to the cold at heart. On record, for the most part, these same sounds simply arrived, swirled around and left as a mysterious whole with few glimpses as to an underbelly and with fewer still lasting impressions.

Wash The Sins Not Only The Face is thus a more approachable recording, one built less around oppressive aesthetics and more around Rachel Davies`s fine vocal. There are however plusses and minuses to this approach. Though more intimate - and here arguably creepier - exposed song-craft requires songs and this is where Wash The Sins Not Only The Face partially falls down.

First things first, though friendlier than its predecessor, this is no singles album despite it being more than possible to coerce such material out stark ballads, chilly pop and generally Gothic manoeuvres. Probably plumping for the up-tempo "Deathwaltz" from a lack of choice then, its lengthy closing instrumental isn't nearly as face-meltingly interesting as its title promises and whilst its brief and noisy counterpart "Despair" is better it also lacks identity.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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