Evangelista (Carla Bozulich) – Prince of Truth
A beautiful album this; and one that doesn’t sit about waiting for you to suss it out. Lush, vicious and full of twists and turns, Prince of Truth is made by a band who may have something very rare about them. For those who don’t know, Evangelista is the vehicle for Carla Bozulich’s muse and everything we’ve heard from her has been first rate. The woman has a way with words; check these from The Slayer, they’re ridiculously sensual:
The angels walk below me/Slicing metal by remote control/Wings are sending black smoke to cover/Up my eyes/Like a sympathetic strangle/But I will never die...
This record despite the number of “quiet” tracks, is a lot tougher and shinier than Hello Voyager, for this we need go no further than the strange, shifting collage of sounds and imagery that is The Slayer. It’s so damned confident in that it doesn’t seek to win the listener over, rather it squats in an amorphous, electric mass in the room for a good five minutes, eventually rousing itself to trundle around in bottom gear. Tremble Dragonfly and I Lay There In Front of Me Covered in Ice are tracks seemingly created outside of any conventional sense of time and space. Again, they are sensually overloaded, the former relying on a dissonant accompaniment of strings and electronics, the latter playing on a traditional bar-room blues lament (albeit one that sounds as if it was recorded on one of Saturn’s rings).
Toughness and noise is found in spades on I Am A Jaguar, where Bozulich’s brilliantly elastic voice soars an screeches over a harsh metallic backdrop. Iris Didn’t Spell and On the Captain’s Side are powerful incantations indeed. Iris… has a feel of early Van der Graaf Generator about it whilst On the Captain’s Side is a ghostly masterwork: at times using a single sliding accordion note to drive & inform the track very much in the same way as the Bunnymen used a bass bow in their brilliant b-side Broke My Neck. Crack Teeth is a demented little piece, stream of consciousness driven by some tinny synths and contrabass.
Put this record on, it’s not easy, but it’s damned compelling.
Words: Richard Foster