The Angelic Process - _Weighing Souls With Sand_
(Profound Lore, 2007)
by: T. DePalma (8 out of 10)
Athens, Georgia's The Angelic Process are in league with a well-acquainted sort, pressing influences if not all obvious at first listen, at least conveyed in some market-based fraternity with Swans, Neurosis, Jesu, Aidan Baker of Nadja and the general reverberating pool surrounding "shoegaze" pioneers My Blood Valentine. _Weighing Souls with Sand_ is the eleventh recording by the Process -- a collaboration between husband and wife duo K. Angylus and MDragynfly -- producing nine tracks of sweet born melodies given up towards passion's pyre. A focus that many abject and sour adolescents have in the past taken up as sentimental and tiredly romantic, but here impresses distinctly powerful and sultry music even while carrying that lineage.

_Souls'_ heavily crafted pieces cycle in plush waves of strings and throbbing machine-beats. Alternating voices between its architects, each are brought together in phantom shades while captured in a fulsome, blurred and in any other sense probably "bad" production (much in the home studio style of Nadja or even Methadrone and Graveland) that nevertheless enhances the emotional ebb and flow, with titles like "The Resonance of Goodbye" and "We All Die Laughing" immediately followed by "Dying in A Minor" spelling out as much that's soon heard.

Such is the light into dark aspect of the tracks themselves. Eased in by already drowned synthesizers, soaked in a cocktail of aching desires, many tracks contain at least some germ of what follows, returning to familiar motifs and structure either in drawn out movements of some eight minutes in length or shortened while maintaining the sense of enchantment. This is the case in "World Deafening Eclipse" and "Resonance of Goodbye", which explode not long into things, but also as if they had been building since practially the end of their last record. Although the name of the group suggests a lapsarian bent, the music (or more correctly, the listener) is unburdened by floods of sadness or guilty wanderings and denied many indulgences and contrivances that would otherwise turn the warm gale of its drama into a full-blown, hysterical disaster. There is instead plenty of gnashing discord and mountainous shifts of guitar to stir and rouse as much of _Souls'_ dynamic color.

It's true that to be in line with great tragedy often requires both participants' dissolve. Fortunately, a literal sacrifice is not necessary to make a great album and in this vein. While I'm hesitant to associate native talent on top of sanctity, it's taken two lovers to tackle it this goddamn well.


(article published 10/6/2007)

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