Review: Time Moth Eye - Undeath (2012)


artist: Time Moth Eye
release: Undeath
format: CD-R + Chap­book
year of release: 2012
label: Cru­cial Blaze
dur­a­tion: 64:55

detailed info: dis​cogs​.com

Timothy Ren­ner’s out­put as Stone Breath has been quite pro­lific since the restart of the band a few years ago, but appar­ently he has found enough time away from his main musical brainchild to pur­sue other artistic aven­ues. Undeath is a full-length album under the solo alias Time Moth Eye, and while its links with the dark folk reli­gious themes of Stone Breath are clear, it is a thing unto itself, really.

Although many Stone Breath albums also con­tain tracks that are a bit more sub­dued, exten­ded, and dream-like, that tend­ency to drone out is given centre stage on Undeath. The music here is very stripped down, often with single voices accom­pan­ied by single instru­ments. And while a string instru­ment pops up here and there, much of it is organ or elec­tronic drones, manip­u­lated voice, and the like. The Undeath theme is prom­in­ent, as is that of dreams and sleep. The entire album, in all its blacks, whites, and greys, speaks of vary­ing states of con­scious­ness, spirit, and breath.

Though dif­fer­ent from the earthy tones of Stone Breath, there is some­thing equally com­pel­ling in these tracks. There is more air, if we want to stay in ele­mental imagery, more cloud, but cer­tainly not in a light way. Eschew­ing the gen­er­ally tight bound­ar­ies of folk­song, the pieces on this album stretch out and drift, pro­foundly moody and mys­tical. Renner’s own deep voice is the per­fect accom­pani­ment for many of these pieces, but we hear a selec­tion of guest voices as well, par­tic­u­larly in rendi­tions of the album’s cent­ral text: the Old Test­a­ment piece known as The Val­ley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37).

In addi­tion to the music, Undeath boasts a 44-page chap­book with many of Renner’s draw­ings, black-on-white and white-on-black. These too fit the themes per­fectly: death, light, breath, moths, proph­ecies… For the price this is going at, all that is superb value for money, and if you’re in any way interest in dark folk and organic drones you should ser­i­ously be look­ing into this release. Lim­ited to 200 cop­ies, so it won’t last forever if there’s justice in the world.

Reviewed by O.S.

Track­list:

1. Stone­pusher (3:16)
2. Wake (8:49)
3. Sheetwinder (8:38)
4. Witch­walker (4:09)
5. Sleep (6:53)
6. Ossa Ossa (4:25)
7. Foot­steps Fall (6:28)
8. Chrysal­ishroud (11:23)
9. Sleep­walker / Dream­walker (10:55)

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