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Music Review: Heaven And – Bye And Bye I’m Going To See The King

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The mix of music on Heaven And's second album is so eclectic as to virtually defy description. Familiar signposts include Miles Davis, Can, and Hawkwind, among tons of others. The all-instrumental disc is divided into six songs, with spiritually evocative titles. This 46-minute album plays like one long suite however, with each track blending into the next.

The album opens with "Babylon," a slowing evolving piece with some startling guitar pyrotechnics towards the end. "Bye And Bye I'm Going To See The King" is next, which begins with a wink towards Pink Floyd's classic "Shine On You Crazy Diamond." The track then delves into an ambient groove, punctuated by some Art Ensemble Of Chicago type instrumental commentaries.

"Om" follows, and while it has nothing to do with the famous free jazz "Om" track from John Coltrane, it does share its wild sense of abandon. This is the first instance the trio show of really letting the music fly, and it is pretty powerful stuff. The guitars are all over the place, while sampled radio frequencies blast across the basic tracks.

The martial drums and droning sound that "Blue, Even" begins with suggest a funereal excursion. Some heavy feedback follows, and things begin to get interesting. The drone ends abruptly midway through, to be replaced by a section that reminds me of nothing so much as the opening to "Six Foot Under," by long lost grunge pioneers Blood Circus.

"When The Roll Is Called" seems to be a musical evocation a soul's meeting with Saint Peter at the gates of Heaven. This is a pretty powerful track, and apparently there will be some serious feedback played at the Pearly Gates, along with the traditional horns. The album winds up with "Earth Magic," nine minutes of revelry in terrestrial delights. Uniquely noteworthy are the hypnotic drum patterns, which are occasionally interrupted with some controlled feedback and programmed sounds. The album closes out on a note reminiscent of Miles' classic lament "Concierto de Aranjuez," from Sketches Of Spain.

Although I had not heard of Heaven And before stumbling across this remarkable album, I have been completely sold. Fans of adventurous instrumental music are advised to check this one out.

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About Greg Barbrick