Ben Chasny’s Six Organs of Admittance released Burning the Threshold late last week. The new album, on SOA’s longtime label of Drag City, dropped February 24 and I’m just now checking out one of the release’s highlights: the stellar psych-folk track “Taken by Ascent”.
Six Organs of Admittance reaches its pinnacle when marrying Chasny’s folk sounds with those fuller, drone-ier melodies signature to songs like “Shelter From the Ash” off his 2007 album of the same name.
“Taken by Ascent” follows suit. Swarming with melodies that carry the music well beyond the fringes of the standard label of ‘folk’ or even ‘psych-folk’, Six Organs of Admittance continue to conjoin the acoustic and the electric for a sound that builds and swells and drives home a powerful, undeniable charge of force.
Here, Six Organs almost seems stripped down. Almost seems overly acoustic, especially at the onset. There’s an angst to the opening melodies and vocal entry that literally begs to be unleashed. It’s even present upon the entrance of percussion a little after a minute into the song.
I’ve always found it interesting that a song can generate a sense of anxiety, and that definitely takes place throughout the first two minutes. It isn’t until the skillfully erratic yet constrained percussion and electric guitar riff enters just after two minutes that the anxious feeling begins to subside.
I love this song.
While I’m no expert in the entire works of Six Organs of Admittance (I’ve only delved into a few releases Chasny’s put out under the name in the past 20 years), I can comfortably say that it is songs like “Taken by Ascent” that make this a truly phenomenal band.
The song comes very close to my favorite, the aforementioned “Shelter from Ash”.
“Taken by Ascent” has all the right elements: The swirling sounds that seem to ring out from every corner of the universe. The ferocious electric guitars atop acoustic melodies. Subtly explosive percussion. Organ solos. Damn this is good.
Check out Burning the Threshold on Drag City.
The record is out now. So get it. I did.
My copy is in the mail, so I’m sitting down tonight with a glass of red wine and the excellent 2007 LP Shelter from the Ash. Proof pictured above.
Here’s an outstanding video for the title track off that one: