Exposé Online banner

Ahleuchatistas — Heads Full of Poison
(Cuneiform Rune 347, 2012, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-06-18

Heads Full of Poison Cover art

I will admit to approaching this CD with a bit of trepidation. I rather like the previous Ahleuchatistas releases I've heard (as you can tell by other reviews on this site), and I had heard that the band was down to the duo of guitars and drums after the departure of bassist Derek Poteat, and long-time drummer Sean Dail was gone, replaced by Ryan Oslance (this happened a couple releases back, but I've missed those). That leaves guitarist Shane Perlowin as the sole remaining original member. Could the magic remain after so much change? The answer is yes and no. This Ahleuchatistas is not quite the same as the old Ahleuchatistas, but it's still pretty amazing. Perlowin does contribute some bass, and there's more reliance on effects and overdubbing (and/or looping); in addition, there's quite a lot of Asian influence, from the gamelan-like tones on the opening track ("Vanished") to a large reliance on the pentatonic scale for the title track. Another thing that's new since Even in the Midst is the use of what sounds like prepared guitar, with something done to alter the tones of the notes aside from electronic effects. This appears on "Vanished" to create gong-like tones, and again on "Wisps" to add a buzzing dampened tone. Overall, the tight coordination between the drums and other instruments that was always a hallmark of the band's sound is relaxed somewhat for a looser, more spontaneous mood - whether this is due entirely to Oslance's style or the need for two players to fill up space, or whether it is a deliberate choice to move into new territory, I don't know. But it works, and the longer track lengths (five of the nine tracks exceed six minutes, and the title track is over 16) really allow the changes to come to the fore. "Requiem for the Sea" is a good example of this, with a dreamy rapid picked guitar part and rolling non-rhythmic drumming that builds as guitar parts are added. This one uses a Middle Eastern mode, for even more variety. In short, another winner from an evolving band.


Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases

Related artist(s): Ahleuchatistas, Shane Parish (Perlowin)

More info
http://cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/heads-full-of-poison-3

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Dan Ar Bras - Douar Nevez 'Terre Nouvelle' – Finally, the long-awaited reissue of Dan Ar Bras' compelling first album. This is a very unique music, with wide-ranging influences, all served up in an inventive mix of moods and styles that pleases...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues