Wednesday, February 25, 2009

heavy ghost by dm stith

Another fun round of late-night babble blogging. Someone, help me out: are vampires still cool, or was that sooo three months ago? It might be my fractured, sleep-deprived state, but Heavy Ghost, DM Stith's debut full-length (out 3/10) makes me think of those dark creatures of the night. Then again it could be a throwback to my impressionable teenage years, reading Interview With a Vampire (yet another in the list of household banned books...oh mom, how you tried) to the Phantom of the Opera soundtrack -- thus forever rendering anything with a hint of melodrama "otherworldly."

But surely otherworldly isn't too far off the mark. Percussive heavy, orchestrally dense, and punctuated with a "voice in the wind"-style chorus, Heavy Ghost is incredibly haunting and atmospheric -- easily fulfilling all of fleetingly short Curtain Speech's promise. Best of all, the musical driving force, Stith's unsettling voice, sits front-and-center atop all this melodic discordance -- and yes, the gestalt is still quite beautiful.

Of course, with his previous EP, he's already proven he can do atmospheric. Now Stith is out to prove he can "feel," wonderfully evident on one of the many album highlights, "Fire of Birds," which plays like the ending sequence to 8 1/2, where over the course of five minutes you can hear the ghosts of his past come encircle him, celebrating the depth and breath of the human experience. Rest assured in song, this sounds significantly less pretentious.

I think the biggest problem in reviewing Heavy Ghost, is that its experimental nature precludes easy comparison to better-known musical tropes. Maybe the most definitive statement that can be made regarding Heavy Ghost is that in his current musical incarnation, DM Stith is in no danger of invading the top 40 charts. Tragic maybe, only because I'm narcissistic enough to believe everyone should think like me. But one thing's for certain: for emotive, otherworldly music, this might be incredibly difficult to beat.

mp3: "Thanksgiving Moon" by DM Stith

1 comment:

Graham said...

I'm loving this as takes me to another place. Proper music that needs living with and not just background.