Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Bevel – Phoenician Terrane

November 1, 2007

bevel-album-artBevel – Phoenician Terrane

www.contraphonic.com

Contraphonic, Inc. (www.contraphonic.com)

Delicate, dreamy psychedelic-folk weaves a surreal musical experience

Listening to Bevel’s Phoenician Terrane is like finding oneself in that moment between awake and sleep.  It lulls the senses into a hazy trance and induces a dreamy, enduring calm.  But Phoenician Terrane is more than just surreal; it’s also delicate, distinct and finely crafted.

Phoenician Terrane pulls the listener in early with a quirky instrumental composition that leads to “Low-Income Glade,” in which the addition of flute and violin prove the quality and talent flowing through this album.  The song begins with a light, soaring melody and transitions into a darker, Gypsy-stylized mood.

Bevel has a knack for composing distinct and complex melodies that can be described as anything from sweet to dreamy, dark, or delicate, but are all nevertheless beautiful.  Unlike some albums which tend to sound like one lengthy song, each track on Phoenician Terrane is a distinct chapter in the surreal story that the music is telling.

“Since the World” is an example of Bevel’s talent for creating great melodies as well as the band’s ability to harmonize between the variety of instruments used.  This ability to harmonize is also especially prevalent in “Coronation Day,” a folk song built on distinct yet expertly interwoven layers of instrumentation.

Along with beautiful melodies and artful harmonizing, Bevel also has mastered the ability of inspiring vivid imagery from their music.  “In Purchase” is the best example of this, painting a vibrantly haunting scene with the synthesizer and violin.

The album bogs down briefly in the middle with the mild “A Forest Ends” and “Balustra,” but picks itself back up with a guitar melody that falls like raindrops through “Vice Versa.”

It is evident that every aspect of this album has been given careful consideration and the end result is stunning.  The distinct melodies, individual talent and imagery evoked combine to create art worth listening to.  Listening to Phoenician Terrane is like walking through a collection of great art-beautiful, and just as unreal.

Hannah Kokjohn

hannah.e.kokjohn@gmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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