Canada's Profound Lore continually improves its reputation as an independent label with a nose for the artistically brilliant, carving a niche for itself as a Canadian Southern Lord of sorts. Now comes "Weighing Souls with Sand" by THE ANGELIC PROCESS, a stunningly beautiful, yet mildly disturbing ambient/drone album from husband-and-wife team K.Angylus and Mdragynfly. It is the second album from the Athens, Georgia pair, following the 2006 re-release of "Coma Waering". As is usually the case from this bastion of cutting-edge artists, "Weighing Souls with Sand" is not for everyone, but those who "get it" will be amazed at the power of this release.
The story line of the album continues where "Coma Waering" left off. Following that album's tale of a man in a coma that eventually checks out, "Weighing Souls with Sand" concerns the emotionally devastating struggle of a widow in the aftermath of her husband's death, a tale that ends with her taking her own life. Get inside this poor woman's head and the music becomes a psychological journey, not a mere listening session for the purpose of mindless entertainment.
It has been many years since I listened to MY BLOODY VALENTINE's "Loveless" album (I'm not even sure it is still in my possession). But listening to "Weighing Souls with Sand" immediately brought the band to mind, although that tells only part of the musical tale of THE ANGELIC PROCESS' latest work. The disc's MBV attributes are the slightly mysterious, often sensory-overloading, waves of lush keys and distortion-drenched melodies. And yet "Weighing Souls with Sand" is far more than an exercise in the art of shoe gazing. This is an album with melody, albeit the kind that weaves through layers of rich sound. Distorted vocals that meet somewhere between the operatic and the trance-inducing will lift you off your feet, while drumming that is both thunderous and tribal (think generally of NEUROSIS) firmly anchors the compositions. This rhythmic anchor is one of the album's qualities that ends up giving the compositions far more musicality that what is heaed on more stripped down, sometimes boring, affairs of the musically dreamy.
The combination of elements comes together to form a sonic excursion into raw human emotion like few others out there today. "Weighing Souls with Sand" is to be consumed in long, steady doses, preferably in the absence of light and with your senses heightened, no matter how you choose to achieve such a level of mental warping.