Opal Onyx: Delta Sands (Tin Angel Records, 2014)

August 16, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Opal Onyx: Delta Sands

Opal Onyx: Delta Sands

Dark, murky, dreamy bad-trip music. Think Portishead meets early Zola Jesus and Circuit Des Yeux, and maybe Chelsea Wolfe too. Opener “Black and Crimson” is definitely the more trip-hoppy track, it seems to skip like an old record and then fall into quicksand. “Personal” is much more melodic and uplifting, with clear, chiming acoustic guitar sounds. “Evaun” is more gauzy and ethereal, with layers of echoed vocals, but also a persistent pounding rhythm. “Iron Age” is strange and floating, but there’s a faint, fastly beating 4/4 beat buried underneath which seems to get faster before it dissipates. “Desperate” has a hypnotic groove (if just a spare, repetitive bassline built on a note or two can be considered a groove) and is hypnotic enough to remind me of Swans’ softer material. Come to think of it, Jarboe and recent Swans associates St. Vincent and Cold Specks come to mind while listening to this album too. “The Devil” is another dark dirge with chain-gang-like rhythm and strings. “Arrows Wing” is more of a bluesy dark folk song, and “Bright Bad Canyons” is the album’s sparest and most acoustic song. “Delta Sands” has synths that shift like the song’s title, and eventually a softly pulsating electronic beat.

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