Allsiah – Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone (EN)

Artiste : Allsiah

Origine : Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone

Genre : Drone Rock, Ambient Rock

Date de sortie : 13 mai 2022

This is the English version. Pour lire la version française, c’est par ici

During these past couple of years spent writing reviews I have found myself leaning more easily towards artists with earnest and direct approaches, rather than very intellectualized, artsy-elaborate stuff. Don’t get me wrong, artsy-smart is good, and technicality is perfectly fine as well. But whether highly technical or simple and easy, I need the guts. I need the feels.

This is why I came to love Allsiah’s music. I first encountered this UK-based one-man act at nightfall, in the company of my baby boy calmly going to sleep to the sound of Sisters in Arms, Brothers in Christ : a beautiful forty-minute piece of soulful drone guitars improvisation. This has since become a regular bedtime ritual ; one can imagine the emotional bond I developed with the artist’s work.

So when I received a copy of his very first full-length album, Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone, I was very excited but also worried that this new material might, in a way, spoil that perfect moment in time and space that Sisters in Arms, Brothers in Christ is to me. After all, it’s basically one dude playing guitars alone, with a probable debauchery of pedals and a serious case of amp worship. What more could an additional hour+ of droning add up to the emotional experience ?

The answer is simple : this is far from yet another hour of improvised droning.

Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone is a structured narrative of Drone Rock, from distorted ballads to transcendental powerful riffs. Having no other instrument than guitar, there are no fixed rhythms and the song progressions are fluid, organically conveying the listener from one movement to another, from one mood to another.

As any act with the label ‘Drone’ tied to it has to bear comparison with the two celestial bodies of reference, Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone does bring heavy, powerful and enveloping tones in Sunn O)))’s fashion, while being more structured and clearly more riff-oriented than soundscape-oriented. It does draw from the desertic, almost animistic feel of post-Hex Earth while being more loosely structured, not tied to any drum loops inducing repetition and variations. The songwriting is forward-looking, laid down in successive layers and tides of warm droning guitars.

And so we let ourselves go, carried away by the moody melancholy of Hard Fought Stone, reminiscent of Neil Young’s Dead Man soundtrack, the joyous feelings of power of Exclamations of Eudaimonic Joy, the fiery rebellious hymn of Tear Down the House of Royal Purple, all leading to sheer sonic abandon, drowned in a mixture of sound and emotions.

Here comes the guts.

Here comes the feels.

When and where you will choose to start this encounter does not matter ; Hallowed Halls, Consecrated Stone is an aural journey that will take you far away.