THE PAX CECILIA — Blessed Are The Bonds (review)

THE PAX CECILIA — Blessed Are The Bonds album cover Album · 2007 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Sleeper
When bands release their work for free, you cant help but wonder if you're only going to get a series of cheaply recorded demos that are going to sound horrible, regardless of how good the band are. However, the moment this album landed on my doorstep I had the distinct feeling that wasn't going to be a problem as the initial impression comes from the packaging. Even the cardboard postal packaging had the bands unique artwork adorning it and the album itself, a proper glass-pressed CD and not a CD-r, came in a wonderfully designed digi-pack (sadly the album is nolonger available in physical format, you have to download it off the bands website now). A good start then, and I hadn't even put it in the CD player. From the first listen this is clearly a well composed album with a beautiful piano melody taking the lead and facilitating an impressive build up, primarily of strings and drums with the guitars kept to the background. Clearly this is not your average post-metal album with instrumentation seemingly focused on piano and strings for a few songs, metal on a few more, an electronic soundscape that perfectly encapsulates the title The Wasteland and finally an ability to mix several of these almost disparate elements together. This distinctive mix of diverse sounds and there subsequent mixing is definitely one of the two biggest strengths of this album. the other is a deft touch with building the songs here, so that nothing is ever over or under done and that tension is built up and released perfectly.

Sitting here writing this now, 3 years on from the release of this impressive album, its clear to me that this doesn't just stand out in a year of below average album releases but its one of the best releases of the decade. The songs on here don't just stand out as indavidual pieces of brilliance, but each track flows from one to the next in such a way that the transition from the piano/drums/strings dominated opening pieces of The Tragedy and The Tomb Song to the more heavy metal of The Progress and The Machine, and so on, is so natural that the album is very organic in its feel and works best as one cohesive piece of art. In effect this creates an album where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and is definitely at its best when listened to in its entirety. Its shocking that an album of this quality can be made and yet remain so obscure, and more so that the band is willing to give it away for free and survive on donations. My only question is for this masterpiece, is where do they go next, because this is one hard act to follow.
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