Sanguine Hum are around in early 2013 with a new drummer on board. Andy Booker debuted for their gig at Rosfest last year after a really short period of practice … and it successfully worked. So now – consequently – he’s a regular band member, completely involved in the new recordings. While being delighted with their debut ‘Diving Bell’ I started to listen with curiosity of course … but also somewhat reserved – as we all know – it’s really hard to hold such a raised standard or even excel onself with every new album.
Again released on Esoteric Recordings, ‘The Weight Of The World’ comes with seven songs. The title track is exceptional in some way, due to a length of fifteen minutes, which is quite unusual when it comes to this band. But it’s not the running time as such which strikes, moreover this one is also symptomatical for a move towards an eclectic approach. Compared to what they’ve done beforehand, the music is provided with less catchy moments overall (eh … probably to be withdrawed though soon?) – however for the benefit of more thoughtfullness, depth and trickiness.
So I had to take the lesson that ‘The Weight Of The World’ needs proper time to unfold its real beauty – well, step by step, with every round, a new flower was coming into bloom. If you don’t go forward, you go backwards – there are new aspects to state musicwise, wheras you still can recognize the band’s basics. They waste no time, the first seconds of the opener – just from the ground up so to say – make it clear that you’re listening to SANGUINE HUM. Something attractive for me, taking the risk to repeat myself probably, I have to name Joff Winks’ charming voice, absolutely unique.
While knowing each other and musically collaborating since their youth, the inspired interaction between keyboarder Matt Baber and guitarist Joff Winks marks the substantial trademark. Somnambulistic compositions are the result here, requiring full concentration to come in. I have problems to highlight any of the songs, wait … maybe I should take the short melancholic Phosphor with intent, while probably underestimated otherwise. It’s a minimalistic piano/vocal duet basically, so lovely nevertheless. Most of the album sections are showing a lush sound though, often with keyboards and guitars multi-tracked.
Baber varies a lot on synthesizer, organ, piano – sometimes it even sounds like he’s playing a vibraphone too. Where some album parts are more keyboard laden Winks is dominant on the opening song and shines with heavy riffing guitar within Cognoscenti. From a compositional point of view at least, the album’s title track appears to be their masterpiece so far. I wonder how they are able to bring this multi-layered, partially virtuoso attitude to the live stage … you always have to take up a new challenge.
Now it only remains for me to say ‘congrats!’. A thrilling experience by all means, which is also available as a 2 disc CD/DVD edition, including the movie ‘The Making Of The Weight Of The World’, with the opportunity for some insights. This should not be missed by any progressive rock music fan, a progress at least, for me a new milestone, as I’m following their path since they started under the moniker Antique Seeking Nuns. Reflecting the excellent presence of the bass guitar (Brad Waissman) and drums too, the sound is crystal clear, the mix is simply brilliant. This rounds it all up this time to the highest rating.