Spirits of the Sun
DOUBLE REVIEW! What does it mean? It means we accidently assigned the same review to two of our writers. Well this is a fantastic record and certainly merits it. So all is well.
Portland, Oregon two-piece, The Slaves, create a haunting, liturgical work in Spirits of the Sun. The album opens with “111” and spacious chanting that summons robed figures in giant, incense filled halls. There is something both tragic and revelatory at play here in hymnlike fashion as the music builds and distorts to a crescendo of feedback. “River” flows slowly into place following a similar formula of long vocal notes and sustained, processed tones. Whereas “111” takes place in the confines of an ancient church, “River” is out in the open and forms a luckdragon ride through faded clouds and fog filled valleys. “The Field” brings about slow melody, while closer “Born Into Light” creates a Steve Roach style soundscape of transcendence and transformation. Sprits of the Sun is an album of invocation with an overwhelming sense of holy beauty and sonic immersion. - Curt Brown, Experimedia
Latest missive from the Digitalis imprint comes in the form of this radiant full-length from the Portland based duo of Barbara Kinzle and Birch Cooper operating as The Slaves. “Spirits of the Sun” opens with a pathos-infused chant, recalling the superlative acapellas of Julianna Barwick. These vocals are soon merged with rising, distorted tones sourced from processed guitars or perhaps synthesizer. This first piece is pathos-laden and devotional, a destroyed hymn built upon seething drones and wraithlike vocals. The remainder of the record is similarly excellent, never veering far from the structure of the opening piece but being all the better and more focused for it. Highly recommended for fans of anything from Grouper to Nadja to lovesliescrushing. - Alex Cobb, Experimedia