Everlovely Lightningheart - Everlovely Lightningheart (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Everlovely Lightningheart

Everlovely Lightningheart (2006)

Hydra Head

Hyrda Head sure knows how to pick ‘em!

I do honestly mean that in a good way, however. The label has a certain knack for picking up and signing bands with something special. Those intangibles that can't be taught, that ability not to write songs, but to craft songs. That's where the true art in music lies.

You see, Everlovely Lightningheart want to take you somewhere. On a trip, a journey, an adventure, to anywhere. Listening to this self-titled record forces one to draw their own conclusions about the capacity of music, and what a given album can do to them. Musicians can only provide so much. Guitar, voice, ambience, piccolo, it doesn't matter, the point is, listening is a unique experience for everyone, and it's an album like this that has the capacity to bring about that realization in everyone.

At the same time, I'm going to be straight with you -- not many of you will like this album, at all. But if you're already a fan of most of Hydra Head's output, namely that Boris with Merzbow album put out last year, there's a very good chance that you're going to enjoy this. There's no uniform sound, no set style, no restrictions. It's a combination of some light instrumentation, and a lot of focus on soundscapes. As I said before, it's not so much the music itself, but what you take from it.

The one solitary track on here is 40 minutes long, called "Cusp," and it goes through a plethora of stages, ranging from a variety of instrumentation, be it guitar or harp, to ambient drone, to absolutely anything in between. It doesn't quite have the epic feel that Boris and Merzbow had, but that's not the sound it's aiming for. It does however, try to evoke the same general feel. It's about the mood. It's about how something so minimal could be so gorgeous. About halfway through, when there's nothing more than harp strings being plucked, and some broad, all encompassing soundscapes, there's real beauty in the simplicity of it all. The music then tails off for a brief respite, before coming back in with all kinds of calamity. The sounds of echoed voices, clanging, reverb, all populate the same small bit of musical space, until a much more delicate stage of the song carries it out, remaining tight and tense all the while.

Hydra Head continues to push the envelope with acts like this, acts that I'm sure they fully realize that not very many people will be into. It's music that fit's a very specific mood, and a very specific niche, and if you find yourself residing in either of those, this is a band you'll want to be listening to.