Thursday, January 28, 2010

Album Review: Woven Hand – Mosaic

Woven Hand is the brainchild of David Eugene Edwards (ex-16 Horsepower). He is a devout Christian, and his band’s music is Old Testament quoting modern Goth music, delivered with an American twist (ie a banjo features prominently). This 2006 album is a prime example of their sound. After a short interlude the album starts proper with the epic Winter Shaker which comes on like the grim reaper coming over the horizon. It sounds enormous, all crashing percussion and chants of ‘Alleluia’ and ‘all His glory’. It’s like nothing else in contemporary music. Turn it up very loud. Swedish Purse follows, with a funeral organ accompanied by banjo. It’s an exercise in tension-building, which Edwards excels at. There are subtle percussive touches which drive this track along.

The music is really beautiful in Whistling Girl, with its references to flocks of sheep keeping the Biblical imagery going. Edwards is really good at creating a foreboding atmosphere. After a short folky interlude, Bible and Bird, we get Dirty Blue, which is a great example of this. It has a Gothic guitar line accompanied by a fiddle, along with sound affects that sound like a coffin creaking… or a rack turning? You’ll want the wind blowing when you listen to it. Things get a little weird with Slota Prow, a long drone-filled song, but Truly Golden brings the album back on track, a slow brooding number with a sort of ‘Western’ feel to it.

The final two tracks are a little underwhelming, but overall this is a fine album. Its only musical ancestors would be the likes of the Mission and the Sisters of Mercy but this is Goth without the black clothes, make-up and dodgy hats.