Her Name Is Calla - The Quiet Lamb - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Her Name Is Calla - The Quiet Lamb

by Steve Rhodes Rating:8 Release Date:2010-10-11

It's late October, the nights are setting in, it's getting darker and colder. The perfect timing, therefore, for Leicester/Leeds quintet Her Name is Calla to unleash their sophomore album 'The Quiet Lamb' onto the unsuspecting listener. Those suffering from seasonal affective disorder should shut their ears and close their eyes now.

Opener 'Moss Giant' begins almost erroneously, led by a beautiful piano at a slow pace. Occasionally, a dreamy and quietly echoing vocal is added, but the constant is the spooky and shimmering violin that supports the song. Its eerie sound and almost disorientating atmospherics are reminiscent of The Threnody Ensemble and is an absolute delight.

The slow build up is repeated with 'A Blood Promise' and 'Poor More Oil'. Vocals and voices are initially whispered until the band are fully unleashed and Tom's vocal is allowed to shine. Both are mournful and dramatic odes, looking way back into history and are powerful songs that leave a lasting impression.

Things begin to change with the standout and epic 17 minute track 'Condor and River'. Moving from slowcore guitar, like Low or Shipping News, then accelerating into traditional post-rock, grinding to a halt with Tom's hushed vocals initially reminiscent of Thom Yorke conducting his own eulogy, then finally strengthening to a heartfelt and beautifully realised end. The song carries a multitude of ideas in such a short space of time.

'Thief', 'Long Grass' and 'Homecoming' offer a complete change of dynamics. The sound is optimistic, with organ, banjo and mandolin added to the mix, giving a warm and pastoral feel. Although, as with much of The Quiet Lamb, something darker still lies within, perhaps evoking Vashti Bunyan for the Godspeed generation.

This is confirmed with the closing trilogy of 'The Union', which veers from the trance-like chanting of 'I Worship a Golden Sun', like a medieval Polyphonic Spree, through the Godspeed meets Sergio Leone of 'Into the Rest', to the apocalyptic 'Recidivist'.

A dark, often bleak but enchanting album, The Quiet Lamb is a glorious delve into centuries past. At a tad under 80 minutes, the album is a long and fairly intense listen, but it has a realm of ideas crammed into it. Listen to it at night under candlelight and let your imagination run wild.

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