Ulaan Khol III

Several moments within Steven R. Smith's trilogy-completing opus capture the exhilaration/trepidation of arriving outside a venue and overhearing an incendiary blast of guitar noise marking a performance's apex. And you're outside missing it. And the venue here could be the mouth of a cavern with some suddenly electrified Pict warrior grooving within (several species of small animals not pictured). Though III does have its interludes of relative introspection it is the most full-throttle of the self-dubbed Ceremony series. Smith contracts the folk/Eastern tropes that coloured the previous two albums, reducing them to hints and accents within the tonal veil of overdrive and distortion. Despite the boiling point psychedelic barrage, Smith still communicates a broad spectrum of feelings, especially the questing/searching tone that connects all three parts of the series. In the end, these questions, asked at high volume and with a Gnostic aspect woven into the fabric of the sound, also have their answers in the echoes and overtones that curve back upon their origins. (Soft Abuse)