Monday, November 2, 2009

Evangelista - Prince of Truth

Prince of Truth
(2009, Constellation)
RIYL = Gowns, Castanets, Valet

I never figured I would find another album this year to contend with Ben Frost’s By The Throat in terms of apocalyptic tension and aural austerity, but Prince of Truth definitely makes a run for it. Album opener, “The Slayer”, embodies just what its title implies, a gnarled, jarringly gritty opus that cuts like a dull axe. Carla Bozulich, the searingly brutal songstress of Evangelista, takes no prisoners again on Prince of Truth (her first no-prisoners conquest taking form in last year’s Hello, Voyager) with her vocal crow. However, Bozulich’s vocals, which waver from brutality to empathy and back again, are matched note for not by the (anti)musicality of the Evangelista band. Of course, this is because Bozulich knows that if your are paving the way for the apocalypse, its best to have the folks at Constellation trumpeting you along. The beautifully instrumental berserker delves in and out of bluesy jazz-inflected bass lines, think chamber strings, acoustic Americana and blistering rock and roll, all rolled variously in tar, nails and feathers. The most beautiful thing about Evangelista as a band is their ability to burn small villages with tracks like “The Slayer” and “You Are A Jaguar” and then turn right around and make you believe they are genuinely sorry on ballads like “Tremble Dragonfly”. Evangelista have not only joined the likes of Jackie-O Samuel L. Jackson, Gowns and Valet in creating a barbed hybrids of Americana, noise and rock, Bozulich and the crew are now the royal family with which all their predecessors should look to for inspiration. I am having a hard time reasoning out why Prince of Truth shouldn’t be my favourite album of the year. And beyond that, why it shouldn’t outrank half of my list for best of the decade, this “wicked flying thing.”


Evangelista - "The Slayer"


alyssa. said...

Hey! Great review. If you like Evangelista- Prince of Truth, then you might like some artists on Brite Revolution. Kaite Herzig, Joy Williams, Lorien, and more!

Ryan Hall said...

this album slaaaays. Great review