|Title:||Blood Moon Rise|
|Label:||I Hate Records|
We had to wait as long as five years for "Blood Moon Rise", the follow-up to Jex Thoth's eponymous debut. In 2008, when the first album came out, this band fronted by Jessica Bowen (aka Jex Thoth) was one of the most interesting new acts that I had chance to discover and, from that moment on, I have continuously waited for their second LP. I can't hide that my long wait has been fully compensated, and that the album has more than met my expectations.
On a purely formal level, the main features from "Jex Thoth" haven't been changed, so there is an ossianic and arcane atmosphere that overwhelms us through "To Bury". Jex's mystical voice unfurls on dim and extremely long notes, slow and distinct drums, accompanied by archaic-sounding synths. With "The Places You Walk" and "Ehjä" there is a return to that sober sensuality that contributed making their first work a great album. Here I mean to stress the seducing quality of a heathenism drenched in naturalism, an acid darkness that silently explodes in the almost unlimited vastness of this imaginative mind. All of this is drowned in an ocean of typically sixties-seventies sounding vibes, helping raise a shroud of esoteric hypnotism, which in turn leads us into Napaeae's arms and into the realm of Pan. A shadowy and thick doomish cloak envelopes us in "The Divide" and "The Four Of Us Are Dying", with a feeling I have rarely felt with such intensity if we exclude legendary albums like "Black Sabbath", "Sacrifice" or "Witchcraft Destroys Minds & Reaps Souls". This tentacular quality dates back to acts such as Black Widow and Coven and, by intertwining with doom's languid heaviness and their highly personal spiritual features, breathes life into tracks of which immense beauty can't be described with words. There are more psychedelic traits in "Into A Sleep", the dreamy "Keep Your Weeds" and the sylvan grace of "Psyar": Pink Floyd's word is vehemently evoked, but it gets revisited and adorned with a lysergic esotericism, flowing between its seventies' roots and doom's obscure reflection. Jex Thoth's heavy sound doesn't necessarily need oppressive guitars, it creeps inside through a perfect musical framework instead, splendid in its pace, perennially accompanied by a mysterious and mystical aura that I have rarely had chance to enjoy in other works.
While "Jex Thoth" — notwithstanding its undeniable beauty — resulted at times slightly simple, uneven and somewhat uncertain, "Blood Moon Rise" has really attained an immortal soul, so elegantly wild, so filled with spirituality and conceptual depth to give you the chills. Yes, I will say that out loud: "Blood Moon Rise" is an amazing album, to be experienced with your heart and each one of your senses to grasp all of its many facets, it is a real Masterpiece. I would like to add, though, that this definition may not do this work justice, so I will go so far as to say that "Blood Moon Rise" deserves a spot in that small circle of musical gems that not only lead "albums of the year" lists, but also go straight on top of a whole artistic career's playlist!