Еще один невероятный и улетный альбом уникальной группы, на мой взгляд - интереснее более ранних работ, а еще - он более холодный и отточенный. Впрочем, это уже несколько другие 5uu's - с вокалом Деборы Перри (Thinking Plague) и бас-гитарой Кита Максуда (Present). Изначально музыка записывалась для третьего альбома U Totem - но этим планам не суждено было сбыться, и Дэйв Керман использовал материал для нового альбома 5uu's.
Regarding Purgatories marks the beginning of a new incarnation of the 5uu's. Dave Kerman took greater control over the creative process, changed the official name of the group to "Dave Kerman/5uu's," and got a new vocalist, Thinking Plague's Deborah Perry. He also started branching out musically -- the album contains both a greater variety of compositional techniques and some longer, more abstract pieces than had appeared on previous 5uu's releases.
"Meteora," the album's wonderful opener, is a great example of how 00s 5uu's differs from 90s 5uu's. Not only is it completely instrumental except for some distorted Medieval-ish chants that slosh around occasionally, but the first two minutes consist entirely of ambient synthesized foghorns and piano strings being scraped with keys. And when the drums and bass do come crashing in, it's simply amazing, especially when they're joined by a surprisingly Thinking Plague-like angular guitar line to create one of the most propulsive, satisfying passages the band has ever done.
This is not to say that all of the album is so abstract -- Kerman has certainly not given up his talent for catchiness, and "Drachma" could almost be an avant-prog single, with its infectious, convolutedly folky melody and well-placed solo for walkie-talkie feedback. But it's nice to set this off against pieces like "Half-Akin to Gladsome," an intermezzo for voice and piano that's more delicate than almost anything on Hunger's Teeth. And it's hard to argue with the viscous, bubbling, brilliant organ solo in "String of Hey-Days" (which actually reminds me of a much more aggressive version of James Grigsby's work in U Totem), or the unexpected vocal part of "Pinwheel," in which Perry's voice splinters into four different tracks and reflects off itself, simultaneously extremely strange and indescribably beautiful.
I have to admit, not every piece on the album is perfect. A few tracks, like "To Fall on Deaf Ears part one," drag a little in places, and Perry's attempt to sound like Dagmar Krause at the beginning of "Stand On Ceremony" is pretty weak. While the epic "To Fall on Deaf Ears part two" is mostly excellent, complete with a powerful, ponderous and extremely grim-sounding middle section that puts Univers Zero to shame, it ends so abruptly that it sounds like they ran out of tape while recording it -- a rather jarring effect whose aesthetic purpose continues to baffle me. Still, the amount of good on this highly underrated disc so outweighs the bad in both quality and quantity that I think Regarding Purgatories may be my favorite 5uu's album. Anyone hesitating to buy it because of the flak it sometimes gets on r.m.p, I urge you to keep and open mind and give it a try
Alex Temple [May 2002]
1. Meteora (7:31)
2. Pinwheel (5:12)
3. Belew And Beyond (5:14)
4. To Fall On Deaf Ears - part one (4:51)
5. Half-Akin To Gladsome (1:44)
6. Drachma (4:28)
7. First Person Jocular (4:36)
8. String Of Hey-Days (2:40)
9. Day 29 (2:18)
10. Gordian Knot (4:44)
11. Stand On Ceremony (1:43)
12. To Fall On Deaf Ears - part two (10:35)
Total Time: 55:36
- Dave Kerman / guitars, keyboards, drums, percussion, occasional bass & vocals, tapes, noises etc.
- Deborah Perry / vocals
- Keith Macksoud / bass
- Mark McCoin / exotic percussion, unconventional soloing
- Sajay Kumar / additional keyboards
- Charles Turner / piano solos
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