Six Organs of Admittance – Shelter From The Ash

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(Drag City)

When technical genius is your major selling point there is always that precarious tightrope to be scaled, separating the lofty heights of the virtuoso and the fatal depths of self-indulgence. This is the rub for Six Organs of Admittance, the alter-ego of Comets On Fire guitarist Ben Chasny. The coruscating passages he brews with a plectrum are often intoxicatingly brilliant – his songwriting abilities rarely so. These tracks are slow-burning, horizon-seeking journeys in themselves, whether Chasny is plugged in or not. Alone With The Alone brings to mind the freeform improv of Mars Volta minus the latin percussion and thrashing lunacy, while Strangled Road is a mellow acoustic number that profits from Elisa Ambrogio’s honey-soaked vocals. It’s almost like amazingly proficient background music, such is Chasny’s taste for repetitive, meandering song structures. Too often, though, it stumbles toward 70s-prog-style, tripping-in-the-desert wankery.

 Released 12 Nov

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