Heaven And Sweeter As the Years Roll By

Sweeter As The Years Roll By is the impressive first release for Heaven And, a group of four veterans of the European experimental, improv and avant-jazz scenes. This is by no means an improvised album though — they’ve gone with a relatively structured post-rock route here. The compositions are all about spatial exploration, building hills and valleys out of undulating electronics, buzzing guitars and dissonant percussion. It’s rhythm that comes to the fore here, courtesy of percussionists Tony Buck and Steve Heather, who deftly dictate the pace, feel and mood of the songs. Meanwhile, Martin Siewert and Zeitblom (yes, that’s his name) use their synthesisers, guitars and keyboards to add colour and connect the percussive dots, a task they accomplish with laudable restraint. Alexander Hacke of Einstürzende Neubauten offers his vocals on a couple of tracks, the better of which, "Prince Priest,” builds to an unsettling climax carried by Hacke’s Gollum-esque growl. Not necessarily sweet, but good stuff nonetheless. (Staubgold)