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In The Fishtank 11

The Black Heart Procession & Solbakken
In The Fishtank 11

I didn't discover The Black Heart Procession until their most recent release Amore Del Tropico, and while I've heard some of their earlier material and enjoyed it, it seems like the group has really come into their own as they made a rather dramatic change in styles. This release finds them teaming up with Solbakken in another entry of the hit-or-miss In The Fishtank series from the Konkurrent label, and fortunately this one is a real winner.

Solbakken is a group that I know very little about, but on this disc it seems that whatever contributions they make have been taken advantage of by The Black Heart Procession and put towards creating an even more dense and epic sound for the group (you could call it sublimated if you wish). At any rate, this release really picks up where the aforementioned Amore Del Tropico let off, with songs being led by the amazing piano playing of Tobias Nathaniel while guitar textures swarm and the baritone vocals of Paulo Zappoli add just the right edge.

The opening track of "Voiture En Rouge" finds guest singer Rachael Rose adding breathy vocals in french amongst the cinematic instrumentation and the release just continues into the more slow and swirling "Dog Song" before a touch of middle-eastern string touches on "Nervous Persian" and the more energetic "A Taste Of You And Me." Seemingly just getting stronger as the mini-album moves along, the twelve-minute "Things Go On With Mistakes" absolutely blows out the gates with dual drummers and mingling guitars and pianos and an ever-charging feel that doesn't give way at all. It's one of the better songs I've heard from The Black Heart Procession and perhaps born from a more freewheeling writing session shows just how much room they can explore with their sound.

The album closer of "Your Cave" takes things down quite a bit, but it's still beautiful and layered and provides a nice endcap to the release. With only six tracks and just over a half-hour of running time, this short release is still better than many full-lengths I've heard in the past year. A great release from both bands, as well as one of the better In The Fishtank collaborations I've heard, this is a disc to seek out if you enjoy Black Heart Procession or even work by the likes of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

Rating: 8