[sic] Magazine

Geist & The Sacred Ensemble – Beyond This Vessel

Moon Glyph have a surprise up their spacious wizard-sleeves for their final release of 2013 as they’ve managed to bag the latest output from mysterious Seattle doom-folk/drone-rockers Geist & The Sacred Ensemble . And, make no mistake, the Beyond This Vessel cassette is a doozy.

Side A opens with sinister shuffles and Michael Sauder ‘s crepuscular croon-cum-chant, “On The Next Full Moon” shifting from acoustic hick tricks to locked-in psych-rock propulsions. The 10-minute “Seeker” then hits with the sneering majesty of a lost Swans epic, its twanging strings and taught howls contributing to the track’s dirge-like sense of apocalypse that denatures in slow motion to the sound of exploding drum volleys ripped straight from the Michael Gira handbook.

The AA side then dials down the heat with mid-distance, windblown drone and the listing galleon creak of “Terraformer”, while “Bird Passage” then unravels at quarter-speed, stuck in the blackest of tar pits and gargling a molasses brew filled with barbed wire. Meditative chimes compound the misery as low drones simmer in the mix, something like a Theremin adding an otherworldly chill.

Beyond This Vessel is akin to wandering the night forests alone with more than a suggestion you may not be. Bleak doesn’t come close. Consider it a Christmas present come early. Ho, ho, ho.

~Beyond This Vessel is out now on cassette on Moon Glyph.~