united bible studies

Coming through via an email just as we were heading off for a restorative nap, I say restorative nap, oh were it were, Dylan the cat venturing upstairs at half hourly intervals, I’d like to think he was looking out for me but I swear it’s a playfully annoying habit he’ s opted to take up these last few weeks. So here we are, not quite the restorative we hoped for and two and a half hours lost, which let’s be honest, I’d have wasted listening to the cricket, call it a draw then. So, without further rambling, a message from Danny over at Pariah Child, (wasn’t there a dark metal fanzine of the same name in the mid 00’s) sporting news that his label recently released a full length by United Bible Studies entitled ‘Cave Hill Ascension’. A special pressing on a heavy-duty slab of red wax featuring within four tracks. No strangers around these here parts, mind you rare visitors among these musings, David Colohan and sometimes, Dom Cooper, if memory recalls rightly, have both, breezed by our defences courtesy of appearances on the, regrettably neglected of late, A Year in the Country imprint whilst Allison O’Donnell has been known to frequent the Mega Dodo sound house. An exceptional gathering which really does require time, space and an investing of yourself to its listening appeal. Described briefly by the Pariah folk as’ …. gentle, ethereal and haunting, the new record pairs two longer devotional wordless movements with two shorter lyrical folk songs. It makes for a beautifully rounded and mystical experience’ which in truth on reflection, pretty much pre-writes the review for you. on this occasion and with a restless back log of releases all muttering and pushing for attention, we’ve honed in on the collections opening two tracks, ‘bless us and break us with mystery upon mystery’ and ‘the heart lies over and over’. The former a 15-minue spirit walker stilled, steeled and cut finitely with a mystical elegance which aside shimmered somewhere in the musical vicinity of say, anything with Grey Malkin’s touch upon it or else those rarefied outings escaping the Preterite and Men At Tol sound houses, is split into two contrasting movements whereupon at the 6.42 point, the chamber glooming lifts and dissipates as though its players have stepped back into the misty shadows. It’s all attractively allured and prettily poised and paused, much like that current O’Dowda release for Static mentioned elsewhere, this majestic heavily absorbs both space and silence as additional instruments, from therein, the O’Dowda references fall away, in their place a thoughtful spectral classicism ghosts in, much like a descending mist, arcing celestials, fleeting angel sighs and the measured application of a hymnal eerie as old as the land delicately daub this mournful passing in a twilight glow, one I suspect for the Dead can Dance folk among you. As to ‘the heart lies over and over’, a tenderly mesmeric folk weary teased in all manner of Gaelic ghosting’s and hitherto distressed and sighed in a beautifully ached, solemn forlorn, and then it’s gone lost to the wiles and spirited away by the elements. Quite something.


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