The Church - Further Deeper

by Gerry Hathaway Rating:10 Release Date:2015-02-03

Further Deeper is a fine new progression for The Church. If it's similar to a previous album in their sprawling discography, I would say it has a distinct After Everything Now This feel. Lots of dense, reverb-drenched guitars are blended simultaneously with ambient synth pads and distant, ethereal female vocals.

Kilbey himself is in fine form as always. It’s the first Church record without the inimitable signature playing style of departed guitarist Marty Wilson-Piper. However, newcomer Ian Haug is a talented and valuable player who has filled MWP’s void and brought renewed creative energy to the band.

Lots of new favorites here: 'Vanishing Man' is quite wonderful, with a strong harmonious chorus and dark foreboding. Laurel Canyon and Old Coast Road are very reflective of their jangly beginnings such as on The Blurred Crusade, with warm 12-string acoustic strums and light, airy atmosphere. The band sounds especially youthful here.

'Toy Head' takes the cake, with its Priest=Aura vibe. It’s an epic psychedelic track with ghostly background vocals and layers of cascading guitars that culminate to a crashing melodic wall-of-sound. 'Globe Spinning' has a slow dance beat and dark tone that recalls Killing Joke at their most melodic.

'Let Us Go' contains washes of synthesized strings and mournful vocal harmonies that burst into a happier, energetic chorus. The record ends on the unfolding 'Miami', an expansive finale in the classic style that The Church have done time and again.

The entire album is fantastic and stands amongst The Church’s very best. The complex chord arrangements demand attention. Once you are pulled into the music the album really comes alive.

Further Deeper sounds like a new chapter for a band that remains just as vital as ever, 35 years into their career. 

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