Six Organs of Admittance - Burning the Threshold - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Six Organs of Admittance - Burning the Threshold

by Andy Brown Rating:7 Release Date:2017-02-24

Since the late nineties Six Organs of Admittance has produced a pleathora of richly creative albums, exploring folk, psychedelic rock and all kinds of out-there experimentalism. Primarily the work of guitarist Ben Chasny,  it’s always a little bit of a guessing game trying to figure out what the next Six Organs release will sound like.

The last two albums, Hexadic one and two, saw Chasny at his most experimental. The first volume a feedback drenched occult noise poem, the second an ambient and strangely off-kilter, folk influenced trip. Before that we had the full on psych-rock of Ascent where Chasny got to shred with his old Comets on Fire bandmates. In-between all this Chasny also found time to make a new LP of eastern-tinged noise-rock with underground supergroup Rangda. So where to now?

‘Things as they Are’ sets the tone for much of the album, a disarming piece that finds Chasny adding his gentle vocals and philosophical musings to a warm, finger-picked, acoustic backing. It’s the sound of someone slowing down and taking stock, the sound of someone seeking a little contentment. ‘Adoration Song’ continues down the acoustic, pastoral path with another blissfully meditative song that pleads with us to, “rise up now”. There’s something hopeful and deeply felt going on here, if Hexadic was more of a cerebral experience then Burning the Threshold is its emotional counterpart.  

Composed of Chasny’s acoustic and some gorgeous harmonies, Burning the Threshold strips the Six Organs sound down to its raw components. Musically, the album is very much about Chasny embracing his folk influences again as well as focussing on his songwriting.  It's raw yet sweetly delivered and, as with all Six Organs releases, displays Chasny’s stunning musicianship.

The rolling drums and hypnotic mood of ‘Taken by Ascent’ recall 2005’s School of the Flower and even throw a little electric guitar into the mix. There’s a distinctly psychedelic tone to the track that pushes the album into a wider sonic space while offering a musical counterpart to all the ambient, zen-like vibes. There’s always a surprise up Chasny’s sleeves.

It’s possibly the title of the albums closing track, ‘Reflection’ that sums up Burning the Threshold most adequately. A reflective, meditative and unashamedly beautiful album that offers a little comfort and shelter from the storm. Sometimes that’s all you’re looking for.


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