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Freed of This Flesh - EP

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Album Review

Trees are a four-piece sludge-metal act from Portland, OR; this is their second release, following 2008's Light's Bane, also a two-song EP. The songs are long (13 to 14 minutes), heavy, and so slow they almost lose structure entirely, very much in the vein of Khanate or Monarch. Feedback sustains the music between smashes on the drums. The vocals are guttural enough to be indecipherable, especially with the guitar and bass both feeding back and ringing out endless, fuzzy, downtuned chords. The first track here, "Hollow," feels almost like a long fanfare, an intro to a more traditional set of songs. It builds and builds, and then it ends. Another comparison might be Neil Young's Arc, a half-hour sound collage of intros and codas from his 1991 tour. The second track, "Ashes," is a little more structured, but just barely. It's also even heavier, if possible; the guitar and bass are tuned down to Sunn 0))) levels. This isn't a record you can throw on at a party, but you could crank it up when the neighbors have gone on vacation if you want to be pinned to your chair like a pilot suffering multiple G-forces.


Formed: 1968

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s

In 1970, this British quintet released a couple of albums that made no bones about aping the approach of Fairport Convention (then at their peak). A mixture of traditional folk songs and originals, extended electric-guitar heavy arrangements, and a female singer who took many of the lead vocals -- it worked for Fairport. It didn't work as well for the Trees, for several reasons. First of all, Celia Humphris was no Sandy Denny, nor a Jacqui McShee (Pentangle), Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), or even...
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Freed of This Flesh - EP, Trees
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