Review: Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – Kollaps Tradixionales

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

The (new?) flagship of Constellation Records has once again released a beautiful, epic album. With all the greatness, desperation and poetry we know them doing the best.

Thee Silver Mt. Zion still have the well-known large, saturate sound of electric guitar, violin, drums and singing on “Kollaps Tradixionales”. The compositions have somehow moved back to “Horses in the sky” but with the rawness and somewhat rock tunes of “13 Blues for Thirteen Moons” integrated. But there is a larger diversity in the soundscape than before.

Nick Southgates ends his review in the Wire [313, March 2010] with the words “and perhaps best enjoyed one slice at a time”. If so, I recommend listening to all tracks by Thee Silver Mt. one slice at a time. The intensity of emotions, the big sound (loud or quite) and the poetic lyrics are the main ingredients in the works of Thee Silver Mt. Zion works. They have their ethics, aesthetics, ideals and “political” stance. And this probably attracts the audience as well as it rejects other.

Favorite track is ‘I built myself a metal bird’ and is the closest they ever got to a popular (punk) rock song. Efrim singing “Dance Motherfuckers” as the beat of the machines making the world go around. An effective anthem and probably wonderful track LIVE.

Since “13 Blues…” the lyrics has been a part of the physical release. It helps somewhat to understand the creative nature of the songwriting, when being able to read the lyrics. From ‘There is a light’:

“But there ain’t no truth but the no truth but the no truth, Yeah! Ain’t no thing but the nothing but the nothing”

The lyrics still have “trumpets in heaven” and “the olde dirty flag”. It’s both a personal pledge as it is a global inquiry. I like the always returning repetition that musical as lyrical gives the text some edge, intimacy and introverted character.

‘ ’piphany rambler’ is another great song. The closing track has builds up as many other Thee Silver Mt. Zion tracks, but it never gets to the final crescendo. And that actually – to me today – makes the song a little more outstanding, a little more painful and pushes the sadness without ending in an expected desperation.

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