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Six Organs of Admittance

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Album Review

On Six Organs of Admittance's self-titled debut, Ben Chasny lays the foundation for the psychedelic folk-blues that he would continue to explore all the nooks, corners, and crevices of in his subsequent work. The record relies heavily on ambience and noise to give the beautiful acoustic guitar pieces a rough-hewn quality that makes them seem timeless. A single drone lasts the entirety of the first song, "Maria," but "Sum of All Heaven," with its catchy, repeated line "head for the sun," foreshadows the more pop-oriented structures of his 2003 album Compathia — although with mythological wilderness music wandering for over ten minutes in this case. On first listen, this record seems less caffeine-driven then Chasny has suggested, but upon closer inspection there is a striking uniqueness and fidgety intensity to the particular thread of dark ambience that is woven throughout. Too hypnotic to be scary but simply far too mind-warping to feel the least bit safe (especially on the horror movie-worthy "Invitation to the SR for Supper"), the Six Organs debut makes Bert Jansch-inspired folk-blues into something endlessly alluring but potentially dangerous. It sounds like something that a third album-era Led Zeppelin might have come up with while crouched around a campfire in the English countryside, heads full of Indian music, British folk, and some really potent drugs.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Inspired by the East-meets-West solo guitar musings of John Fahey and Robbie Basho, former Plague Lounge guitarist Ben Chasny formed Six Organs of Admittance in 1998 in Northern California. SOOA's self-titled, self-released debut arrived that year, followed by various compilation tracks and obscurities. In 2000, SOOA issued the Manifestation EP on the Ba Da Bing! label, a one-sided clear vinyl-only release consisting of one extended piece (it was reissued by Strange Attractors on CD in 2004 with...
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