artist: United Bible Studies
release: The Shore That Fears The Sea
year of release: 2006
label: Deserted Village / Deadslackstring
detailed info: discogs.com
United Bible Studies is one of Ireland’s leading freefolk ensembles, combining experimentation with ambient and more traditional folk. Compared to previous releases since the band’s inception in 2001, The Shore That Fears The Sea is more of a ‘studio album’, with a greater emphasis on songwriting.
This makes the album very diverse and more accessible, while remaining original. Each song has its own distinct character, so the album contains a wide range of sounds. “Rivers Rotting In The Earth” is an introductory mix of sound manipulation, guitar, flute and spoken word, exemplary of the United Bible Studies experimental style. But, other songs on the album sound like they could come straight from the repertoire of a related project. “Hellical Rising”, a fragile little song, could just as well be fromThe Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree, whereas “Columba’s Song” wouldn’t sound out-of-place on one of Dave Colohan’s recent Agitated Radio Pilot albums. “Watching The Rain Reshape Galway” takes things in a different direction, though. One this beautiful track, Dave’s soaring vocals steal the show. The rest of the album shows a similar mix of beautiful melodies, ambient and musical experiments. I won’t go into further detail, save mentioning the wonderful title track, a long modern folk song with a great flute and clarinet duet at the end.
Together with the great pictures in the booklet, this makes for a very succesful release, and it comes warmly recommended to all lovers of modern folk and experimentation.
Reviewed by O.S.
1. Rivers Rotting In The Earth (6:16)
2. Hellical Rising (2:16)
3. Columba’s Song (2:53)
4. Watching The Rain Reshape Galway (7:15)
5. Crofts Of Copeland (2:20)
6. Tributaries Of The Styx Under Dublin (7:03)
7. The One True God Lies To Himself While The One True Goddess Sings (7:09)
8. The Shore That Fears The Sea (7:57)
9. Captain William Coey (4:05)