Deathwatch Beetle Repairman Hollow Fishes

A subtle and wicked humour pervades this nightmare of an album. Four years in the making, Deathwatch Beetle Repairman's Hollow Fishes documents the development of an artist. The care with which this disc was compiled makes it a consistently spooky and believable ride through a carnival funhouse. At its best, Hollow Fishes is a minor goth masterpiece. The tasteful use of Middle Eastern rhythms and Indian instrumentation, along with electronic sounds and vocal distortions create a unique soundscape in which fishes crawl from the sea and the Season of the Dead is celebrated with a lilting organ and mono-droned vocals. There is a strong influence of Tom Waits' Black Rider in the use of carnival-like vocal distortions, as disembodied voices have inaudible conversations. Wonky melodies are tapped from chimes and harpsichords with childish abandon, and guitars played in an acid-crazed flamenco style colour several moments. The overall result is just under forty minutes of Halloween-eerie sound that could give Marilyn Manson the willies. The closing track, the instrumental "The Carny of Mr. Dark," sounds like Vincent Price's music box, the perfect soundtrack to any number of horror classics. Break out the absinthe and light up the black candles for Deathwatch Beetle Repairman's Hollow Fishes, the disc that proves any time is a good time to be dead. (Independent)