This album arrived and immediately induced a sense of slight shame that I didn’t know the name Lisa Cuthbert, as she has worked with an extraordinarily wide range of bands from Marillion through The Sisters Of Mercy to Draconian and Ulver. Still here we are and this is her own music, her own vision.
‘Killing Field’s is a dreamy beginning, slipping into the room like smoke under the door and cooling around your lungs before you know it is there. A distant rumble of guitar distortion, rising and falling ethereal voices and then slipping away. Already evocative, already darkly rich, you can’t summon movement before ‘The Host Wants A Parasite’ slides onto your lap. It is a slow, hypnotic and gently doom lined riff and plain vocals, slow drums. A lilting Celtic shade to the melody, a didgeridoo breathing between the folds. It is gorgeous, truly. Somewhere musically where a quieter Darkher, Jex Thoth, Amber Asylum, The 3rd & The Mortal and a little goth like Faith And The Muse might mix. Maybe a touch of Ofra Haza in the vocals. Maybe. Beautiful, rich, narcotic music though.
‘Under The Stars’ is similar paced but eyes a little wider, the sky a little closer. It feels a little like waking up as ‘Eve’ steps in. Harder keyboards here, the main voices sharper, a slight North African feel perhaps. You realise here how beautiful the arrangements have been so far; that clever, intelligent but emotional touch making the complex seem simple. ‘Will’ rolls and roiled around on a piano, just the wave like flow of it as keyboard sounds breath the wind and something more sinister in the background, the bass adding depth to the ocean.
‘Effigy’ is a longer song, again with this gorgeous arrangement, this subtlety and elegance that recalls Faroese singer Eivor a little, the dreamlike summoning sung with such beautiful tone that you are afraid to move in case you break the delicate yet powerful space spreading slowly outwards. It is remarkable music. Enrapturing. Transporting. ‘Pillar’ is like an echo in a pool, ripples, but there is also a presence of strength within. ‘Hands Clean’ closes with soft tribal drumming, piano and a sudden burst of passionate, strident anger perhaps. I don’t know, it still leaves so much to be discovered.
This is a slow, quiet album. This is dark silk and intricate lace and yet the earthy perfume it releases takes you out into a dark, still nature on a dreamquest. This is an album to sit in the silence of your own space and wrap yourself in, let it lead you where it will. Wherever you travel it will be beautiful and it will be wondrous and it will haunt you afterwards.