debut release of Alethes, recorded in 2002, is a folk gem of digression
from familiar styles of medieval or pop-a-long sing-song. The latest release
from Glass Throat Recordings expands the repertoire that gyre’s
around Chet W. Scott’s Ruhr Hunter, by taking a more humanist interaction
with nature in questing the spiritual realm above.
Flailing a sinister inveigling of guitar, cello, violin, and percussion,
Alethes serve their platter of dark and at times minatory folk of a mostly
non-traditional styling, with a sparse and haunting procession. The discerning
ear may hear shades of a non-distorted Neurosis feeding the dark and recondite
trail, especially in J. Joshua Phillips voice that growls and grates libations.
Morose guitars hang pendant beside melancholy cello and violin above the
sacral fires that swirl memoirs of vision-inducing smoke. The percussion
pads softly, muted toms that serve to underscore the string elements.
The play of dynamics, of piano and forte, truly mark Aletheia’s
saturnine sound with the verisimilitude of a live performance and of musicians
who feel the pulse of music, its swells and its lows. All tracks are protracted
save for an initial ambient praeludium and for the most part the instrumentation
is familiar song to song, leaving the lachrymous songwriting as cicerone
– though this is not to say that Alethes compose depressed and lamenting
ballads, if anything there is a certain élan deriving from sedulous
composition in the music’s apport.
As with Glass Throat Recordings most recent output, Alethes shares a similar
mien when it comes to packaging and level of artistic oversight involved.
A digipak, with digifile type CD button to affix the disc, made of extremely
thick, double-layered black satin card embossed with silken filigree of
creeping vine and unique calligraphy to present lyrics and liner notes.
Aletheia is a sumptuous oversized package that nests well with other Glass