Speakers everywhere this fall will rejoice with the arrival of Eyes at Half Mast, the third record from Talkdemonic. The Portland, Oregon duo of Kevin O'Connor and Lisa Molinaro have been playing together since 2003; she plays the viola and cello, while he plays everything else, including, but not limited to: drums, synths, and acoustic instruments. The result is an intoxicating blend of symphonic strings and explosive percussion; achingly beautiful music.
Eyes at Half Mast is the band's high water mark. The album teems with moments of spirited beauty, (especially on Duality of Deathening and March Movement) and of haunting elegies (as exemplified by Tides in Their Grave and Dust and Heat). There are passages filled with raw dissonance on the record, such as the release and tension offered by Civilian. There is a sense of loss and memory running through many of these songs, but the tone of the record is ultimately one of hope, a satisfyingly dark vitality that embraces melodic confidence.
Talkdemonic continue to expand the range of emotion that they are able to evoke without words. The band is emerging in terms of composition, song structure and recording, and the sound crystallizes here. Talkdemonic hit a stride in songwriting with tunes like Ending the Orange Glow and Black Wood Crimson, which feature complex arrangements, layers and harmonies. It's worth nor mixed thirteen of the fourteen songs from this set.
Audiences admire Talkdemonic for their uncompromisingly cathartic and bewitching live sets, as they witness the co-mingling of O'Connor's rhythmic prowess and Molinaro's tempestuous craft. It becomes a welcome contagion, to know Talkdemonic, as they remind us continue to treat music as something of crucial importance and endless amazement.
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