Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 4/18/2007
The Pax Cecilia
Blessed Are the Bonds
posted on 7/2007 By:
How this band remained unsigned after releasing (and giving away) their superb debut EP, Nouveau, truly baffles me. And now with an equally stunning, challenging and artistic, self released and free follow up, I imagine there will be more gnashing of teeth as this utterly unique act again stuns the listeners but not the labels.
Summing up The Pax Cecilia is no easy task. It’s a sort of ambient, neo-classical take on blackened metalcore/post rock, like if any of Prophecy Productions or Equilibrium Music’s avant-garde folk/art acts collided with Shai Hulud and Neurosis. 10+ minute orchestral songs, deep concept, lots of clean singing and instrumentation (including flutes, piano, cello, etc); for simplicity sake, I call it renaissance-core or neo-folk core.
All kidding aside-this is absolutely wondrous stuff and opening track “The Tragedy” is a difficult opening song to swallow with its lengthy, overwrought, all clean delivery leading into the piano opening of “The Tomb Song” and its dramatic pace change (the first of many) around two minutes in, where the band first starts to ply some form of gently ambient metal in a rangy, mid paced and operatic climax that’s just breathtaking. “The Progress” is where the band finally bare their teeth with blackened shrieks and clamorous guitars, all the while intertwined with classical instrumentation vocals and an exhausting musical peak that reminded me of Primordial’s last album. The metal element continues for the brief spurt of “The Machine,” an ominous, mid paced, angular and angry number that shows the band does have a more voracious side to counter their artistic, ambient forays (i.e. “The Wasteland”).The 12-minute (mostly) instrumental “The Water Song” is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces of classically inspired instrumental metal I have ever heard, and the female vocals tacked on the end simply add a perfect ending. “The Tree” is a close second. Closer “The Hymn” is a perfect, female glossed come down to end the album in shimmering, delicate fashion.
Despite the fact I wish there were more vocals, (I can see this being a purely instrumental project in the future) and The Pax Cecilia wont appeal to everyone, I’m confident in saying Blessed Are the Bonds, will be vying to be the first album by an unsigned band to ever grace my year end list-and you labels should be ashamed of that considering the vast amounts of trend hopping musical garbage you spend money signing and promoting. Still, some may find this band’s music and lyrics (though there’s not that many on this release, it's about 70% instrumental) pretentious and forcibly ‘intellectual’, but personally, how many grunts, burps, shrieks, breakdowns and blasts can you sit continually through without at least exposing yourself to something a bit more challenging?
As with Noveau, Blessed Are the Bonds comes in a sweet little artistic digipack. And did I mention it’s free?
Right, I’ve simply run out of great things to say about this band and this album, and frankly I’m not sure there are enough words to do it justice. Someone get some creative balls, make things right and give these guys a record deal.
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