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Six Organs of Admittance - The Sun Awakens

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Artist: Six Organs of Admittance

Album: The Sun Awakens

Label: Drag City

Review date: Jun. 12, 2006

The latest Six Organs Of Admittance record doesn’t offer too many surprises to listeners already familiar with Ben Chasny’s other releases. After eight full-length albums, the guy seems to’ve played most of his cards. Last year’s School Of The Flower was a successful synthesis of sounds and styles that Chasny had already explored. The Sun Awakens takes the same approach, but with even better results.

Like on past albums, Chasny channels the sounds of Tyrannosaurus Rex, Robbie Basho, Popol Vuh, and countless other amazing folk and psychedelic artists; if nothing else, the man has impeccable taste. His acoustic guitar playing is beautiful and the distorted passages are absolutely searing. Chasny hardly sings at all on The Sun Awakens and only one song has more than a few lines of lyrics. The standout track is “The Desert Is A Circle,” if only because it sounds so different from any other Six Organs song. It borrows liberally from Ennio Morricone’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly theme and is a welcome change from the dark and brooding tone of the other tracks. Chasny is able to mimic a whole array of instruments just by playing around with different guitar tones, and the wordless vocal harmonies on the bridge are pretty much perfect.

Chasny made The Sun Awakens with producer Tim Green (The Fucking Champs and the Nation Of Ulysses), and the recording quality is fantastic. The instruments sound incredibly rich and full, and Chasny’s vocals fit more comfortably into the mix than they have in the past. Drummer Chris Corsano, who was all over School Of The Flower, is nowhere to be found this time. Instead, Chasny’s Comets On Fire band mate Noel Von Harmonson provides most of the percussion. John Connell fills out several of the tracks with ney and daf (a Persian flute and tambourine), and Al Cisnersos of Sleep and Om plays bass on one song.

You’d think Chasny would be spread pretty thin between making a Six Organs album every year, touring and recording with Comets On Fire and working on other projects like August Born, his duo with Hiroyuki Usui of L. Somehow he’s still found time and inspiration to make another satisfying and engaging album. The opening seven tracks on The Sun Awakens are probably the strongest sequence of songs on any Six Organs release so far, but the droning 24-minute closer “River Of Transfiguration” sounds a little out of place. It’s actually a very good song, but it gets a bit monotonous in the context of the CD, or maybe the details just get lost because it’s such an abrupt change of pace. It probably makes for a very nice LP side though, so if you’re trying to decide between formats you should probably go with the vinyl on this one.

By Rob Hatch-Miller

Other Reviews of Six Organs of Admittance

Six Organs of Admittance


The Manifestation

School of the Flower

Shelter From the Ash


Luminous Night

Asleep on the Floodplain


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View all articles by Rob Hatch-Miller

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