Woven Hand – Mosaic

Now 16 Horsepower is no longer active, Eugene David Edwards can focus all his creative energy on (the darker and more experimental) Woven Hand. Mosaic is the follow-up to Consider the Birds (2004). The album contains 12 songs and displays again a varied mixture of folkloristic music and religious themes.

Like before, the sound of Woven hand is quite conjuring and intriguing. Mosaic is certainly one of Edwards’ darkest and most apocalyptic creations. It also has a somewhat heavier sound, with acoustic instruments moved more to the background. As before the album was produced in the Absinthe Studios by Robert Ferbrache, known for his work with Changes and Blood Axis.

After a instrumental introduction builds up the tension, ‘Winter Shaker’ directly has a dense, overwhelming sound, with driving percussion and Edwards’ intense grave vocals. Sometimes almost medieval melodies turn up, like on the elegant ‘Swedish Winter’, though the banjo makes it rooted in American tradition. Another striking piece is ‘Slota prow’, which starts as a distorted, ritual piece and has an almost swinging ending.

The folk, gospel and Americana is more than in the past combined with rock elements, for instance on the dark ‘Elktooth’, which reminds me somewhat of early Swans. Definite highlight is ‘Dirty Blue’, with lovely violin contribution and a compelling melody. All in all Mosaic won’t have too many suprises if you followed Woven Hand a bit, but it’s a solid, deeply spiritual album which will tempt even non-believers.

artist: Woven Hand
label: Glitterhouse Records
details: cd, 12 tracks, 45 min., 2006 [GRCD 648]