Ghostly International Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/05/2012
I was like a giddy ten year old on Christmas morning when this one arrived. Having already spent considerable time with this Danish outfits debut This Is For The White In Your Eyes, my fondness for Choir Of Young Believers’ penchant for melancholic yet melodic and very desolate brand of cinematic and orchestral beauty has put them on a level with Radiohead or Bon Iver in my eyes.
Fronted by mastermind Jannis Noya Makrigiannis, the six piece have fleshed out another masterpiece on par with their triumphant first offering. Rhine Gold packs a more powerful punch of lush instrumentation and delicate soundscapes that are as divine as they are often sad.
Sounding not unlike the musical equivalent to the calm before a storm, Rhine Gold embodies plenty of eerie tension that shifts in moods but never quite explodes. The orchestral and chamber nods are plentiful and the outfit maximizes synth, strings and piano to the fullest. Makrigiannis’ strategically placed vocals solidify that this is so well executed in every avenue.
But it’s not all haunting and avant garde exploration. Tracks like “Patricia’s Thirst” find universal pop appeal, while “Have I Ever Truly Been Here” is a leap into an intimate folk setting, a song embedded with pain that manifests itself into true beauty. Amazingly, the album highlight is the ten minute opus “Paralyse,” which weaves in and out of so many textures, gracing classical, electronic and acoustic paths that never follows any predictable lines.
Far from the feel good record of the year, Rhine Gold finds Choir Of Young Believers penning a disc for the pensive listener, someone who really submerges themselves into a record as a whole, who prefers to digest every second to its fullest. There’s a whole lot of passion lingering amid these meticulous and emotive compositions, and the careful ear will recognize how truly special this is.
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