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Audio CD | Import, Digipack
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David Eugene Edwards (aka Woven Hand) delivered his 4th album and his masterpiece. The album again was put to tape by Robert Ferbrache, a one-time lap-steel player in 16 HP who runs Absinthe Studios in Denver. He doesn't stray much from his signature sound: mournful, minor key dirges within which Edwards ruminates on his recurring themes of faith, the fallibility of man, and the folly of the non-believer. But on "Mosaic", he unleashes a maelstrom of intensity and conviction that is as captivating as it is deeply spiritual. This is it. The one. It's magical, dark, mysterious, sinister and gorgeous.
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Favorite tracks: the Human Drama sounding “Dirty Blue”; the clean and country fresh sound of the instrumental “Bible and Bird”; and bass line heavy but more straight ahead rocker “Winter Shaker”.
Damnation and suffering, a cold cruel world, the only hope of life everlasting is to somehow weather the harsh and hellish, to bow down and be lifted up.
And the thing is you don't necessarily have to be religious to be terrified of death and suffering, or eternal torture, and even the staunchest atheist might think twice if offered a chance at eternal life, and eternal happiness. Typically, the word of God, the usual messages from on high, repent or die, do unto others, are hugely heavy handed, granted, they are meant to be as they do concern your eternal life, but when delivered in the context of the Woven Hand, some of us find our agnostic selves chilled to the bone, the fear of God, -some- God anyway, gets us quaking in our boots.
But it's more about the delivery than the message for us, and from a purely musical approach Woven Hand's music is gloriously grim, an expansive and minor key world of darkness and drama, lost souls and true love, simple strummed guitars, dramatic understated strings, fiddles and wheezing accordions, haunting arrangements, bizarre percussion, strange FX and incredibly intense ambience, and of course Edwards' gorgeously affecting croon: dramatic, intense, emotional, but so obviously troubled, conflicted, hopeful too, yet streaked with a dark despair.
So although Woven Hand's chillingly morose gothic twang is perfect on its own, when tangled up with Edwards' moody tales of punishment and salvation, of love and death, it takes on even more emotional weight.
And compared to the first Woven Hand record, Edwards seems to slowly be moving away from the sound of 16 Horespower, the first Woven Hand could have been another 16HP record, but such is the way with records like that, a 'solo' record from the band member who wrote most of the music for the band he just left. But each record has been getting darker, more personal, disturbingly so, but at the same time, more epic, more cinematic, and more and more beautiful.