Display of eerie talismans to let one seek and find the reason to believe – and live on.
It would be easy to get lost in the endless string of this Austrian group’s releases if only they didn’t provide Ariadne’s thread in terms of loose concept. A year after "Sucht & Ordnung" – brief, but labyrinthine – Albin Julius reaches for deeper truths, and “What Makes You Pray” is a repository of such, although there’s not a lot of light on the album.
As a result, the ominously exciting clang of “Shine” is ravished with chthonic hum whose funereal pull slowly reveals a riveting meandering tune until ritualistic vocals crawl out to focus the piece’s epic pulse and channel its solemnity inwards, while “El Ocaso” serves as a window into the record’s ever-expanding vista which is spiced up with tribal drums, half-heard chant and filigree fretboard caress. The piano-rippled undertow of “Right” – short yet striking – should shatter the listener to the core, and& “Time” is bound to show the picturesque, creaky, creeping horror, whereas the title track’s rhythmic vibe gets resolved in retro twang.
Even more down-to-earth – or up to its surface – “Wolf On Your Threshold” unfolds a blues guitar’s weave that’s as unrelenting as it’s irresistible in this invocation of one’s deepest fears and, at the same time, of awe before the beauty of the beast, but the album’s mostly unhurried pace is deceptive. With “You Bring Low” skittering a variety of beats in a rather frenetic dance manner, and “Land Of Free” having rock ‘n’ roll smile painted all over its heavy frown of a riff, there’s laughter in there, too – otherwise, praying wouldn’t work. A gratifying record, indeed.