Wednesday, April 13, 2016

CD Review: MARQUIS DE BLOOD Weeping Veils

MARQUIS DE BLOOD
Weeping Veils
The Horror Of It All Productions
"He Wraps the Drapery of His Couch Around Him and Lies Down To Pleasant Dreams" commences Marquis De Blood's "Weeping Veils". Inspired by "Thanatopsis" written by William Cullen Bryant- the dramatic orchestral feel to this track has a vibrant and slightly euphoric undertone leaving the listener enthralled by the uplifting string overtones and haunting choral ending. A beautifully haunting start to the "Weeping Veils".
"Big Hand Stops At Death" is a reflective concept piece on the Victorian custom of stopping the clock on the hour of death. An unsettlingly harmonized refrain commences this track and gives way to the semi-mournful string set in an ambient key to further add emotion to this dramatic yet expressive track. Introducing a drum-line mid track adds to the feel of "Big Hand Stops At Death" followed by a frantic string refrain serving to be both expressive and highly effective in adding to the mournful effect. A dramatic and sudden change into the drum section concludes this track- the tone of this musically diverse and enthralling release is already established. A strong, musical sound track with a depth in contrast to be appreciated.
"Draw The Curtains" continues the Victorian theme of death and mourning in "Weeping Veils". This track is a direct reference to the custom of drawing the curtains at the time of death and is accurately reflected through the mournful start of the track. A slow piano solo commences "Draw the Curtains" spliced with samples and an eerie toned sample of a voice moves swiftly into a resonant and fast paced string refrain rapidly shifting into "Draw The Curtains" mid track. Chaotic and frantic string refrains shift pace and mood rapidly- while a morbid shift gives way to a heavy percussion break. A final section of understated orchestral background with a lone string solo shows the musical diversity consistent of Marquis De Blood's releases.
"Song of Sorrow" is a melancholy and atmospheric track commencing an understated tone accentuated by characteristic string overtures. A piano solo is both expressive and musically cohesive in its delivery while providing a sound distraction against the understated string background. Breaking mid track into an ambient and depressive section switching progressively between piano solos and string lines provides a welcome interlude while adding to the morbid tone. Switching steadily into a more mournful cadence ensures a dramatic and ambient conclusion whilst still remaining consistent to the morbid concept of "Weeping Veils"
"Widows Weeds" commences with a frantic and dramatic string section broken briefly by samples of pitiful mourning. A reserved string background adds to the dramatic orchestral feel and allows the piano solos to be reflected upon and create a devastating effect adding to the mournful feel. A rapid switch back to the mournful string pieces continue with the depressive feel while amplifying it further to remain consistent with the concept of "Widows Weeds" A high emphasis on the string background provides a legitimately depressive atmosphere while still remaining musically consistent.
"Death Notice (The Black Bordered Envelope)" is a conceptual track focusing on the Victorian mourning custom of using black edged stationary to announce a death and signify a period of mourning. Commencing with chaotic samples of Gregorian chant combined with discordant background music switching seamlessly into choral music represents the mood to this track accurately. A mid track string overture provides a genuinely mournful feel- moving into a dramatic orchestral end provides the dramatic and abrupt conclusion to "Death Notice"- once again a cohesive, consistent and musically sound track.
"The Raven Guard" is highly consistent with the Victorian concept so resonant in this release. The Undertaker's Mute was to stand vigil at the door of the deceased amongst other duties and this track is highly reflective of this role in entirety. "The Raven Guard" begins with Gregorian and Choral samples spliced with spasmodic and ambient string pieces. Shifting fluidly and consistently between choral samples and string overtures engages a sense of desperate mourning and sadness in the listener. Seamlessly moving in between a harmonic mid-section and slipping back into the frantic string overtures inspires a highly dramatic tone. A mournful string section concluding this track briefly broken by interludes of choral samples naturally ensures an attention-commanding track.
"The Wake" is reflective of the conceptual outlook of this track true to the Victorian mourning customs of watching over the body to ensure death had actually occurred rather than a coma. A genuinely mournful song interspersed with fast paced and frantic string sections briefly interrupted by periodic drum beats add to the atmospheric yet depressive tone. Choral samples shifting rapidly in between chaotic string sections set the depressive tone to this track. A brief piano interlude accompanied by an understated string background provide a welcome break from the intensity. An ambient string section concludes a beautifully musically constructed track and shows Marquis de Blood's consistent continual musical consistency and diversity.
"To Catch A Tear" is a direct reference track to the custom of "Lachryhmatory" used as a mourning time period reference. Once the tears had dried up in the Victorian "Tear Catcher" as it was customary for tears to be caught by the mourners- the mourning period after this occurred had ended. Commencing with samples of Gregorian Chant mixed with ambient string background broken briefly by piano solos- "To Catch a Tear" shifts into a dramatic change mid-section. The dramatic, depressive and understated tones that make this track a mastery in the understated emotion reflective of the time period provide this track with an evocative and beautiful feeling.
"Epitaph" commences with the characteristic string refrain typical of Marquis De Blood- with a brief percussion interval shifting from the mournful and ambient feel. The string refrains are particularly notable in this track due to an understated background- providing a more ambient vibe. Typically musically cohesive and mournful- the listener is instantly transported back into the Victorian mourning period. A Reflective and thoughtful track.
"In Memoriam" is consistently reflective of the Victorian era custom of sending out mourning cards, due to funeral invitations no longer being popular nor socially acceptable. "In Memoriam" symbolizes this thoroughly. Commencing with a depressive yet frantic string refrain rapidly changing cadence to a more chaotic musical stance reflective of the concept- the shift into a more melodic tone is understated and harmonic. The reflective tone to this track ensures that Marquis De Blood maintains his cohesive and consistent style through "Weeping Veils". String refrains and an abrupt end ensures an ear catching release that is both efficient and masterful.
Articulate, consistent, orchestral and beautiful- I thoroughly look forward to hearing more of Marquis De Blood's material for the sheer cohesiveness and flawlessness in musicology and concept. The string work is to be noted as well as the placement of the samples. Once again- Marquis De Blood does not disappoint. -Sarah McKellar

Track list:
1. He wraps the drapery of his couch about him and lies down to pleasant dreams
2. Big Hand Stops at Death
3. Draw the Curtains
4. Song of Sorrow
5. Widow's Weeds
6. Death Notice (The Black Bordered Envelope)
7. The Raven Guard
8. The Wake
9. To Catch A Tear
10. Epitaph
11. In Memoriam

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