Jex Thoth

Blood Moon Rise

Written by: EW on 28/06/2013 23:08:19

When their self-titled debut came out five years ago, Jex Thoth were but a blip on the musical radar of all but few, despite that record being a slow-burning, deeply beautiful piece of art that continues to enthrall to today. Now, with the release of "Blood Moon Rise" the Wisconsin act should deservedly make more waves with their contemplative and frightfully authentic take on the psychedelic doom rock template that has been winning myself and many others over in recent times.

In Ms. Jessica Thoth, this eponymous act has a vocalist who is quite simply better than all the competition out there. Her enchanting, delicate tones are soaked in mystery and aura and generate astounding depth atop a musical landscape of intelligently constructed Sabbath-ian blues vibes and fuzzy distortion. In many ways the fabric of this piece is as crushing as the likes of Pallbearer, as droning riffs of enormous vivacity meet like converging tectonic plates yet they resonate with the fragility of crystal glass in a warm analogue production that is as spell-binding as any of your legendary bands created in the days before ProTools ruined everything. Take "Into A Sleep" as but an example - gentle lead guitars wail over a saddened organ and jazzy drum rhythms while Thoth sings of lost experiences - it sounds as if it could float on water while being anchored at the waist with seismic doom. In "Keep Your Weeds" Thoth's layered vocals sing passionately, while the main guitar rhythm floats alongside via a heavily reverberating tone and the organ slowly brushes a coating of Pink Floyd-ian atmosphere across all.

A significant droning influence is foretold in "Ehjä" and in moments elsewhere - traditionally doom in tempo yet comprised of long, bass-driven drawn-out riffs and organ chords, these patterns give freedom to Thoth to weave her inimitable signature into the piece. "The Four Of Us Are Dying" disappears too quickly for my liking - just as it feels the song is reaching a crescendo it is over, leading into the stirring cello opening to "Psyar" and it's fluctuating rhythm n' blues lead guitar work, perhaps the only flashy moment in a despondent record but done with such skill it finishes the album on a positive tone.

The depth of these tracks is so mesmerising that it seems as if every one is twice as long as it really is; the album's closure brings a chance to reflect on hymns that feel as if a stately cathedral is needed to house them. It does wallow in it's leaden weight atmosphere more than the perkier self-titled debut, but "Blood Moon Rise" is a stunning achievement of true artistic ambition that is beyond the scope of what most other bands could even dream of. This deserves great critical acclaim but I get the feeling that is of no interest to Jex Thoth - this is too personal a record for such matters to be of great importance.

Download: Ehjä, Psyar
For The Fans Of: Pink Floyd, The Devil's Blood, Pallbearer
Listen: Facebook

Release date: 15.06.2013
I Hate Records

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