by Barn Owl
RS-45 - 2010
The Conjurer is the latest offering by Bay Area duo Barn Owl. This new long player finds Evan Caminiti & Jon Porras finally (by way of an actual recording studio) documenting something that is a bit closer to their very heavy live sets, with expanded peaks of white light distortion and enormous valleys of bottom end. Each side opens with a brief funeral dirge to set the mood, a procession of bare-bones drum beats and bell-like guitar statements that bridge the gap to the wider open spaces of the almost side long 'Across The Desert Of Ash' and 'Ancient Of Days'. It may seem obvious, or even a little overwrought, but it has to be said that these guys really do evoke all kinds of cinematic drama with their music. Apocalyptic westerns, bleak melodramas, mother nature fever dreams, it all seems to come to mind amid the evening guitar passages, incantations, flute tones, and finally, the solo piano that emerges lost among the electric mayhem to close the album. Considering the amount of terrain, The Conjurer is far from being scattered or rushed sounding. The record as a whole moves at a crafted even rhythm, slowly merging from one scene of violence to the next of almost silent recovery, then back up the mountain again. Edition of 500 LPs, half colored deep red, half black. Cover etching by Evan Caminiti.