A music blog from Ireland.
It’s about eighteen months since Melodica Deathship released the fantastic Doom Your Cities, Doom Your Towns album. Around the same time the duo supported the deadpan MF Doom at Twisted Pepper and then went on to do a string of more shows to promote the new album, before coming to rest again as work on The Sunken Path pulled them in.
Creatively styled as Exile Eye and Deep Burial, known also as Tim and George, the duo relish the heavy sound of dread and sail through strange territory, a musical inlet locked off by hip hop, dub and folk. Standing On The Hill pummels its way open like some warmongering old captain getting hopped up on the rumble of cannon on the horizon, yet it’s a siren that greets the listener, leading the way forward with beguiling feminine charm that almost hides the encroaching beat.
While Doom Your Cities was chilling, its length and depth made it big-boned with lots of room to settle. The Sunken Path is tight, dispensing of the kitchen sink approach in favour of an EP that’s more shipshape and nailed-down than a tiny, tidy galley, and the result is that it’s substantially brief enough to just about sate the hunger for new Deathship tracks. No convolution or waste, every square of space is carefully considered. Though the live instrumentation and verbal delivery of folk are powerful, the genre’s influence as an aspect of this music is more than a simple category, serving instead as a way that sound and stories work in a slow, complementary manner with the use of mounting suspense for progression.
The way ahead seems clear in The Sunken Path, the beats and electronics produced to such a fine and resonant clarity despite the heft, and the signature use of melodica remains the staple which makes their ideas so outstanding. Its breathy, organic tones are imperative to their sound, almost like an extra voice. This ghostly detatachment is effectually displayed in The Sunken Path‘s centrepiece All Horizon. Thirteen discards the hints and broaches hip hop directly as Tim embraces the opportunity to rap properly while contending with a leviathan bassline. But in Sea Beyond The Sea the melodica’s breezier gusts seem to exhale a sense of relief, as if to suggest the light tone at first was not so misleading. Disappearing from sight with the slow closer Asenath, if this EP sailed in to heavy thunder, it leaves in the wide, victorious wake of a remarkably good follow-up.