ASVA & Philippe Petit Empires Should Burn

ASVA & Philippe PetitEmpires Should Burn
This is the product of a stunning collaboration between G. Stuart Dalquist's ASVA and the Strings of Consciousness's Philippe Petit. Along with a cast of guest vocalists, including Jarboe (Swans) and Edward Ka-Spel (Legendary Pink Dots), they have created a strange and sundered landscape of an album. The five-song record begins with a slow-burning, 23-minute epic that's more of a brooding, horror-driven monologue with an eerie, atonal soundtrack than a song. The rest of the album is structurally very different – a series of taut, haunting numbers that seem to stalk the listener, peering out from dark corners and rattling their chains. This record is very much a ghost story, and the reader cannot shake the sensation that they're being hunted by some unseen thing. It's the poltergeist that speaks to you through the static of your television, the house that sighs and bleeds. From the thrumming, irregular piano on "A Vision," evoking the beat of an arrhythmic heart, to the vocals that manage to be equally frightening whether they come in the form of an awful, otherworldly wail or a chilling whisper, Empires Should Burn is the best kind of ghost story. (Small Doses)