Band: Tales of Murder and Dust
Title: Hallucination of Beauty
Genre: Alternative, rock, drone, folk rock, neo-psychedelic, noise, post-rock, shoegaze.
Band introduction: Formed in 2007, Aarhus based Tales of Murder and Dust plays a dark, experimental mixture of psychedelic rock and shoe-gaze wrapped in a cinematic sound merging noisy guitars, violin, organ and sitar. – Taken from the band’s Facebook page.
1st Listen: This sounds like a medieval jaunt to the Far East with Hawkwind in tow. Esoteric is the word that immediately springs to mind. It’s the sitar and drumming that really conjures these thoughts. Simple structures and haunting vocals are the order of the day. I’m still listening to the second track “Hypnotized Narcissist” by this point; “The Disillusion” acted as an extended intro into this track.
By track four I am in a trance. The mid tempo ambling, and almost monotonous singing, has sent me into that place you go where time disappears. When you snap out of it you wonder where the last few hours went; but it has only been a few minutes!
All the tracks are very similar, but have their own like quirks. I think I’ll struggle to do a track by track review, but sometimes that is the beauty of an album.
2nd Listen: “The Disillusion” begins with reversed instruments including a sitar that drones throughout the whole track; building up to track two “Hypnotized Narcissist” where strummed guitar comes in with the sitar. It reminds me of Hawkwind and Blackmore’s Night. The female vocals come in at about two minutes and drone along with the rest of the music. That the lyrics are barely discernable is actually a positive as it stops them from being the full focus, as vocals usually are. Distorted guitar comes in to add yet another texture. This is a very strong track and the longest on the album.
“On My Mind” is more upbeat with more pronounced drums pushing the guitar and sitar along. The female vocals are accompanied by male vocals in much the same style. “Dead Eyes” ambles in much the same way, but with slightly distorted guitar and more of the male vocals.
As said in my previous review the tracks are very similar in feel, but this is not to the detriment of the album. Hallucination of Beauty is an album that comes together regardless of the fact it is definitely split into different songs. “When She Takes A Hold Of You” has less of the sitar and has a gipsy sort of feel to it; quite mystical. It even steps up the pace towards the end, which is a nice break from the similar tempos that hold the album together.
“Desert Flower” moves back to the standard droning tempo, but strummed guitars tightly played drums uplift the song a little. “Silence” uses delayed distorted guitar to bring a little “melody” (used in the lightest term) over the top of the track. “Darlin’ 61” is quite stripped down; acoustic guitars, vocals and a violin adding a little more depth to the arrangement. It’s a great little track to finish off a great album.
3rd Listen: This album works equally as one you can really listen to, or one that you just put on in the background. The reason; it puts you in a trance either way It’s atmospheric and hypnotising. My favourite track is “Hypnotised Narcissist”, probably because it sets the bar for the rest of the album. As well as Hawkwind and Blackmore’s Night, I am also hearing elements of Jefferson Airplane and The Velvet Underground; giving it that 60’s psychedelic feeling. With more listens the separate tracks give away more of their secrets and start to become their own voice. That is the sign of an album with longevity, I only wish it was available in a physical format; preferably vinyl.
Conclusion: Hallucination of Beauty is a brilliant album that explores the realms of drone and psychedelia to bring a far eastern, medieval sounding, hypnotic collection of songs that will leave you spellbound. An essential listen if any of the adjectives in the last sentence spark your interest.
- First Impression: Good
- Final Impression: Good