Published on September 29th, 2012 | by greg0
Six Organs of Admittance: Ascent:: Review
If you give Ben Chasny a guitar, there’s no telling what type of music you’ll get. The ever prolific artist exceeds competency levels in many genres including psychedelia, rock and folk. Chasny’s effortless guitar playing is typically unmatched by the myriad of collaborators that he has worked with in the past. Chasny’s luck may be changing on his latest album, Ascent, where he is aided by the recently revitalized Comets on Fire as his backing band. The hoary Comets on Fire kick dirt into the face of Six Organs of Admittance’s solitary folk scene and transform the band into a full on rock band. Imagine Crazy Horse with noodlier-prog based tendencies and you’ll get the drift.
The only thing missing from Ascent is the subtlety of previous Six Organs of Admittance albums. It’s not that I’m complaining but Comets on Fire make their presence writ large on every single track. As opening cut “Waswasa” could inspire an army of air guitars to strike up spontaneously after its first riff. “Close to the Sky” apes Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” in tone and rhythm and that’s all right but it might be too familiar until it loses itself courtesy of a skronky guitar solo. The eastern mysticism of the droning “They Called You Near” nearly succumbs to a menacing fuzz pedal but is rescued by the whirling dervish of sitar and tabla. “Solar Ascent” is a moody instrumental piece of spare guitar that leans heavily on the Neil Youngish “One Thousand Birds” for support. Chasny returns to his trusty acoustic guitar for the tender and spare descent of “Your Ghost.” After the solitary drop of “Your Ghost,” Six Organs of Admittance relapse into the apex of Ascent, the guitar-freak-out known only as “Even if You Knew.” Chasny closes out the proceedings with the lyrically loopy “Visions (From IO),” a track reeling in its own shimmery afterglow.