Sunday, 6 November 2016

Trappist Afterland - Afterlander


(This review first appeared in issue 51 of Shindig! magazine)

Fans of The Incredible String Band, Heron and Comus take note. Australian acid-folkers Trappist Afterland have quietly released an album each year since their 2011 debut The Round Dance Of The Cross. They've honed their craft and vision on their fifth and latest Afterlander which has a sound drenched more in olde England myth and mist than Melbourne surf and sun. With its Old Testament prophesying and limited Christ-blood red vinyl release, the vibe is as eerie and sinister as a deleted scene from Witchfinder General.
Though the freak-folk flag is raised high the mood is resolutely downbeat, thanks to chain-like percussion, hypnotic use of drone and repeated chants and mantras. Despite an instrumental smorgasbord that includes oud, tanpura, tabla, bowed psaltery, hammered dulcimer, harmonium, cello and more it's let down slightly by a sameness in mood and tempo. Though if apocalyptic wyrd folk is your bag dive right in!

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