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Tercer larga duración de Entrance, a diferencia de trabajos anteriores aquí se electrifica con riffs de blues y fuertes dosis de Hendrix y Rolling Stones, reforzando en lugar de diluir sus canciones. Al hacer hincapié en este aspecto de su música, Blakeslee esencialmente saca su white blues jones – que en el mejor de los casos fué difícil de vender, y en el peor, insoportable – para un nuevo set de pretensiones, quizás tomando un pequeño desvío, o abriendose a un nuevo camino aún por verse.

Sin embargo, como si fuera el chamán psicodélico que ilustra la portada, trayendonos noticias de otras existencias, aquí suena mucho más convincente, ajustando sus aspiraciones y manteniendo la mezcla de blues y rock con un sonido pulido y calculado. En efecto, los enredos de ruido de las guitarras en estas ocho canciones dan oportunidad a Blakeslee para hacer más hincapié en su voz. El picante “Pretty Baby” , y la épica de ocho minutos “Lost in the Dark”, con gruñidos salvajes, alaridos de rock’n’roll, que se elevan desquiciadamente por encima de los estruendos electrificados convirtiendose en parte de los mismos.

Blakeslee ha reunido a un grupo de aventureros colaboradores que lo respalda, creando un remolino del que puede lamentarse febrilmente, una banda. Incluyendo a Paz Lenchantín (A Perfect Circle, Zwan), el director de cine Maximilla Lukács, y Derek James– no sólo suena fuerte, es intenso. Los arreglos de cuerda de Paz añaden una tensión insoportable a “Silence on a Crowded Train” & “Pretty Baby”, y sus downlow-bass-licks proporcionan densas melodías sobre las que Guy puede girar y girar y zumbar frenéticamente. En este contexto, incluso el único número de blues acústico, “Prayer of Death”, suena mejor, más directo y controlada, un descanso en la fuerza de la banda.

Tal vez lo más importante, la combinación de entradas de riffs de blues y psicodelia-drone refuerza los temores sobre la mortalidad y la aniquilación a través de las letras. “tú cabeza en la tumba”, se lamenta en “Pretty Baby”, “pero todavía no sé por qué.” Al parecer inspirado en “The Daily Death-Vibrations of The Modern World”, “Prayer of Death” inicia con el amplificado “Grim Reaper Blues”, montado sobre un riff de blues barroso y una efectiva llamada del cantante respondida por la banda, seguido de “Silence on a Crowded Train”, donde su paranoia es compensada por su inmenso sonido al filo del precipicio. “Réquiem for Sandy Bull (RIP)” destaca menos por por los sitar-drones que por el Memorial. Para Blakeslee, la muerte es el final psicodélico, que borra por completo la mente en lugar de ampliarla – pero según parece por el tema de cierre, Blakeslee ha hecho una suerte de paz con la idea. Sus últimas palabras son:

“Cuando piensas sobre la muerte todos los días, nunca tengas miedo!”

. Si fuera tan fácil…

Read the Original Here

If Baltimore indie bluesman Guy Blakeslee previously got his blues direct from the source, then on Prayer of Death, his third full-length as Entrance, he orders through a middleman– namely, 60s psychedelia. Here, he electrifies his blues riffs with strong doses of Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones, which strengthens instead of dilutes them. By emphasizing this aspect of his music, Blakeslee is essentially trading his white blues jones– which at best was a hard sell, at worst insufferable– for a new set of pretensions, and whether he’s taking a short detour or cutting a new trail for himself remains to be seen.

However, as a psychedelic shaman bringing us news from other planes of existence (dig that album cover), he sounds much more persuasive, and his tweaked aspirations keep the mix of blues and rock on Prayer of Death from sounding slick, calculated, or Eric Clapton. In fact, the tangles of guitar noise on these eight songs give Blakeslee more opportunities to emphasize his vocals. He peppers “Pretty Baby” and the eight-minute epic “Lost in the Dark” with feral grunts that are part mortal cough, part rock’n’roll yell, and his unhinged howl rises above the electrified din even as it becomes part of it.

It helps that Blakeslee has assembled an adventurous group of collaborators to back him up. Creating a maelstrom from which he can wail feverishly, the band– which includes A Perfect Circle’s Paz Lenchantin, filmmaker Maximilla Lukacs, and Derek James– isn’t just loud, it’s intense. Lenchantin’s string arrangements add unbearable tension to “Silence on a Crowded Train” and “Pretty Baby”, and his downlow bass licks provide a densely melodic bottom end over which the guitars can twist and swirl and drone frantically. In this setting, even the lone acoustic blues number, “Prayer of Death”, sounds better, more directed and controlled, a break from the bands’ doomy force.

Perhaps most importantly, Entrance’s combination of blues riffs and psychedelic drone reinforces the fears of mortality and annihilation that course through the lyrics and thread the songs into a powerful statement about deathly dread. “Your head’s in the grave”, he wails on “Pretty Baby”, “but you still don’t know why.” Reportedly inspired by “the daily death-vibrations of the Modern World”, Prayer of Death kicks off with the amped-up “Grim Reaper Blues”, which rides a muddy blues riff and an effective call-and-response between singer and band, followed by “Silence on a Crowded Train”, its paranoia offset by its immense, edge-of-the-precipice sound. And “Requiem for Sandy Bull (R.I.P.)” is noteworthy less for its sitar drone tribute to the late musician than for the fact that it’s a memorial. For Blakeslee, death is the ultimate psychedelic, erasing the mind completely instead of expanding it– and by the closing track, Blakeslee has made some sort of peace with the idea, which makes the album sound like a journey instead of a tract. His final words are “When you think about death every morning, don’t you ever be afraid!” If only it were that easy.

o en Pitchfork

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