His Name Is Alive: Dark Reflections CD-r (self-released, 2014)

November 12, 2014 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

His Name Is Alive: Dark Reflections CD-r

His Name Is Alive: Dark Reflections CD-r

Tecuciztecatl is His Name Is Alive’s first fully distributed, non-limited album since 2007, and their first album to be properly released on vinyl since the ’90s. It’s an ambitious psychedelic rock opera horror story about evil twins, and I’m still trying to digest the whole concept. Musically, it’s more classic-rock-sounding than most of their albums, and I’m still adjusting to that too. What’s immediate, though, is that the presentation is fantastic, especially with the incredible vinyl packaging, and the book that came with the limited pre-order version. The pre-order also came with a cassette version (which has an amazing bonus track not on the CD or vinyl), and also this CD-r of outtakes and demo versions and other stuff. Tecuciztecatl is inspired in part by classic horror movies (ranging from Night Creatures to Tenebre), but this limited bonus disc has more of a soundtrack feel than the actual album, due to its 28 tracks which are often instrumental variations on songs or movements from the album itself. The album features heavy usage of Mellotron, and there’s definitely parts on here that feel like a soundtrack to some sort of hippie vampire flick. There’s an amazing 7-minute droney version of album highlight “See You In A Minute”, here titled “See You In Forever”. There’s short experiments like “Mellotronix” which could be likened to all your favorite BBC Radiophonic workshoppers or Ghost Box hauntologists. There’s fuzz guitar phasing mindwarp experiment “Mirror Trampoline”, and then there’s a new recording of Mouth By Mouth deep cut “The Torso”, which takes on a new meaning in this horror-inspired context. “The Way It Was” is floaty and ethereal and has a pretty string arrangement. Also, Tecuciztecatl‘s final track is a really lovely minute-long song called “The Cup”, which I wished was way longer, and this disc has a 2-minute version with strings. Small victories. Still putting this whole massive, bloody, Mellotron-drenched puzzle together, but this definitely helps add more context, and it’s an enjoyable listen in its own right.

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