Helen Money – “Arriving Angels” (2013)

Label : Profound Lore Records

Review by Matteo Bussotti

“What the Hell is this?” Is probably going to be your first thought listening to this album. Unless you’re familiar with the genre. Even though I can’t find a proper genre for this “Arriving Angels”. Basically, the album consists of 8 tracks played entirely by Helen herself on her cello…no, sorry, on her highly distorted cello, along with occasional drums.

These are not “songs” in their classic definition, there’s no precise verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus scheme. You won’t find “musicality” in any of these songs. This doesn’t mean you can’t like them, absolutely. It simply means they’re more “atmospheric”, they usually revolve around a single note, or a riff played multiple times, before something spices things up, like a distortion or the drums. The title track, “Arriving Angels”, is a perfect definition of the whole album: a slow crescendo which explodes into a very hard riff, which goes back into a more quiet note played by the cello, and then exploding again etc.etc.

It’s a simple formula…and it kinda works. My opinion, and the “problem” with this album is that it’d be perfect as a score for a movie, but it’s less intriguing when listened on its own. Just like many scores, which lose strength when deprived of their scenes, “Arriving Angels” doesn’t say much alone, but it’s great when associated with something: a scene, a memory, a moment. It’s a great, powerful album for background music. I personally suggest you to listen to it while driving, to see how it affects your mood and your driving attitude. “Arriving Angels” is a brave experiment, surely worth listening to. If you look for a “canonical” music album, though…look somewhere else.

Rating – 70/100

Tracklist

  1. Rift
  2. Upsetter
  3. Beautiful Friends
  4. Radio Recorders
  5. Midwestern Nights Dream
  6. Arriving Angels
  7. Schrapnel
  8. Runout

 

Line Up

  • Alison Chesley – Cello
  • Jason Roeder – Drums

 

Links

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