Review of 'out of the walled pathway' from Textura website:

The first detail one might notice about James Brewster's marvelous third Mole Harness album is that it features four compositions of dramatically contrasting duration—three relatively concise pieces capped by a half-hour epic. Though the detail catches one's eye, of considerably greater import is the high caliber of music-making.

Brewster's previous Mole Harness album, A Present From the Future, was generated entirely from guitars and much of the current one is too, so it's conceivable that processed guitars also were used to produce the resonant church organ tones in “The Sunless Pool and Home” and “A Feast For Regret.” Regardless, the effect of multiple layers of crystalline tones intersecting in the former is lovely, especially when the tones merge hypnotically as they coalesce into different chord formations. Brewster layers a fluid phalanx of chiming guitar parts atop a subtly textured base of ambient hiss and skipping patterns in “Fallout Census Man” and presents a melancholic two minutes of electric guitar in “Foothills of the Informant” that's affecting in its unadorned simplicity.

The album's centerpiece “A Feast For Regret” is majestic in both duration and feel. There's a transcendent aura about the piece, as layers of propulsive hi-hat patterns, incandescent organ tones, and shuddering guitars collectively escalate. The piece begins by randomly layering two entirely different tracks, pitting them against one another for dominance, though eventually unites them during the second half. Ten minutes in, the intensity subsides, leaving only the quietly ringing pitter-patter of the percussion, before the guitars and organ tones re-emerge to quickly re-establish the earlier density. The final third presents a glorious, hymn-like meditation of beatific guitar and organ tones that's simply beautiful. Structural details aside, this is remarkable music—magisterial, heavenly, and ultimately poignant—that invites and rewards surrender.

Ron Schepper

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