Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Controlled Bleeding - "In Blind Embrace (Songs From The Shadows)" CD

Originally released in 1996, this obscure title from American experimental act Controlled Bleeding shows a darker, more ambient side of the unpredictable noise/jazz/industrial act. The bold and operatic vocals of Joe Papa grace the dramatic gothic opener, 'Tormentor's Song', which seems to symbolize strength and pride before the transitional 'Red Hands Waiting', which can be downloaded for free *here*. This is a more contemplative, subtle, and moody piece that features deeply-intoned vocals and hints at the group's unique jazz/industrial hybrid sound, though never quite falling into either camp. The transformational 'Scalding/Black Rain' begins with a brace of noise and disjointed loopiness that gives way to a distinctly different second part that again joins Papa's vocals with big, dramatic, and orchestral music. 'Mother' features guest vocals by former Christian Death mainman Rozz Williams, and 'Hymn From The Shadows' is a long (25 minute) totally ambient instrumental journey that resembles, with it's percolating electronic effects, some long-lost krautrock gem - it's celestial and drifty in all the right places! 'Psalm' is a minimalist exercise, expressing a tone of solitude and regret, with Papa's voice accompanying martial drums and light keyboard textures. These final 2 tracks are the highlights for me, focusing more on the mood rather than song. Appealing more to fans of stuff like the Projekt Records stable than the usual noise/industrial crowd, 'In Blind Embrace' is laced full of dark textures and drawn-out moods - ideal for contemplation and introspection. (MVD Audio)

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