Guy Blakeslee returns with more 21st-century blues. This time, however, the music of Prayer of Death is filtered through ‘60s psychedelia rather than ‘80s alternative and is augmented by World Music rhythms.
The expansion of Entrance’s sound is the reason why Jimi Hendrix and Malian singer/guitarist Ali Farka Toure are among the more obvious dedicatees of Charley Patton & Bertha Lee. Paz Lenchantin of Zwan and A Perfect Circle helps Blakeslee with arrangements and provides violin and bass. The songs deal with subjects and themes usually documented at the end of a lifetime rather than the beginning.
“Grim Reaper Blues” opens with Blakeslee’s eerie, wailing guitar combined with otherworldly noises, which is sure to scare the old folks just like the Grim Reaper himself would. He screams the lyrics into an echo-effected mike, sounding like a banshee off in the distance.
“24 years old now, baby/ and I don’t mind dyin’” isn’t a glorification of death, but a rational acceptance of it being the price of admission. The beat is definitely rocking, and if you don’t find yourself moving, the Grim Reaper might have already taken you.
The violins on “Silence On A Crowded Train” play a Middle Eastern rhythm, around which Blakeslee works his guitar and vocals. He sings of “a dead end game everyone plays though all are unaware.” People pass through this life, not understanding it nor making real contact with those around us. “Only illusions can calm their distress” while they “step over the body of a suffering man.”
“Requiem For Sandy Bull (R.I.P)” is an instrumental track paying tribute to a man who was one of the first Western musicians and who added World rhythms to his musical palette. Blakeslee plays on the electric sitar, bringing to mind India and, in this context, different ideas of death that other cultures have.