|FuzzLogic.com - Van der Graaf Generations|
Record Review Reprint
Another Hammill classic. Considerably more mature than its predecessor and more controlled. Hammill started to take experimentation seriously here. The last two tracks contains sections and undercurrents of sound collage quite unprecedented in his earlier work inside or outside of Van der Graaf. The opener Ferret and Featherbird I find so harmonically perfect in places, I find it painful to listen to ... apologies, you probably find it painful to read such overt emotion in a review. (No more) the Submariner has some lovely blurted lyrics over music of obscure history. It feels like many musical rules are being spread thickly here. That is not to say it is in any way difficult or strange: it feels like a very personal musical language that Hammill has found and one has the urge to treat it with the greatest respect. It has a delicate and ambiguous beauty. The acoustic setting rears its head with Again, a solid song inimitably sung. Faint-Heart and the Sermon is a spark of genius with some points of great emotion. I decline to comment further. The Comet, The Course, The Tail is mainly strong stuff with screamed vocals with an electrifying melody leading nicely into Gog/Magog (In Bromine Chambers). Another strong delivery that tails off into sound collage to end. I can find few words to say about this that do not sound like gratuitous encomium. One of Hammill's finest achievements.
© 1996 Phil Kime
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