Review: Paintings for Animals - Thee Forrest ov Psalms (2010)


artist: Paint­ings for Anim­als
release: Thee For­rest ov Psalms
format: CD-R
year of release: 2010
label: Painted
dur­a­tion: 43:53

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Paint­ings for Anim­als is the pro­ject of Pear­son Wallace-Hoyt, ded­ic­ated to exper­i­mental and ritual music of vari­ous sorts. On this release, the focus is on vocals, drones, and bell and bowl per­cus­sion.

A Hand­ful for thee Root” is a fas­cin­at­ing intro­duct­ory track with slowly mount­ing, raw drones, spoken word, and clanging per­cus­sion. The first main track, “Thee Bells ov Mer­cur­alia”, focuses on vari­ous loops of bells and singing bowls. It is med­it­at­ive and mys­tical, but per­haps a bit long, depend­ing on your mood. “Florauna” is a short but sweet synth inter­mezzo, softly whizz­ing and buzz­ing. The fourth track is right back into expans­ive ritual ter­rit­ory, start­ing out calm, but fea­tur­ing increas­ingly power­ful abras­ive drones and vocals. The final piece on this album, entitled “Cova­lence (Vines)” is rather sim­ilar to the second one, but with a bit more per­cus­sion (shakers, cym­bals) and elec­tronic effects thrown in. Again, a very nice piece with a med­it­at­ive atmo­sphere, but per­haps a bit too long.

That is also my gen­eral impres­sion of Thee For­rest ov Psalms. I can hear that there are a lot of great ideas in Paint­ings for Anim­als, but in some places on this album, they’re spread a bit too thin, which makes the longer tracks OK for back­ground listen­ing, but not extremely sat­is­fy­ing for repeated close listen­ings. Nev­er­the­less, my inter­ested has really been piqued by this pro­ject, and I’d love to hear more recent work to see what else is up their sleeve. Mean­while, this should be an inter­est­ing listen for any­one into ritual ambi­ent and drones, if you’re still able to get it, that is, as the ori­ginal press­ing was a mere 50 cop­ies.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. A Hand­ful For Thee Root (5:24)
2. Thee Bells Ov Mer­cur­alia (10:24)
3. Florauna (2:39)
4. Thee Antler Horn Ov Halsealth (12:13)
5. Cova­lence (Vines) (13:13)