BLACKBEARD’S TEA PARTY – Leviathan!

BTP 2018

BLACKBEARD'S TEA PARTY - Leviathan!

BLACKBEARD’S TEA PARTY –
Leviathan!

Those alive will meet the prophets, those at peace shall see their wake: delivering a solid, if finely textured, contender for the folk rock album of the year, York’s group fathom desperate depths and rapturous abandon.

Whaling stories have long been part of English oral lore yet, with the once-integral aspect of industry gone, they seem to fade away – only to float back into aural focus thanks to efforts of enthusiasts like these. At the close of their first decade as a unit, BTP recorded a tremendous tribute to the trade where traditional songs bookend the 5-piece EP whose core contains originals, the title track and two instrumental numbers, all creating a transcendental tapestry of immense spiritual weight. The result is truly mesmeric, with artwork adding an aspect of vinyl-minded beauty to the entire package.

High on heavy riffs, “The Diamond” may be progressing from tribal beat to crazed march, as Stuart Giddens’ incantations navigate a quirky course through thick, rich arrangement of the perennial which would boil down to the primal groove to return to the tuneful surface and cast vocals ashore, while Laura Barber’s fiddle and Martin Coumbe’s guitar do the devilish dance in “DLFN” before Tim Yates’ bass anchors the ensemble and lets the playfulness reveal its rotten teeth. This grisly grin should turn to smile in the boisterous “Leviathan!” – a punky paean to Mocha Dick – but metallic dirge of “The Lost Triangle” will fill the listener’s heart first with bitter grief and then sweet hope for salvation. Still, such intense, filigree interplay left is behind when the waves of “Weary Whaling Ground” roll away and heavenly harmonies hang in the air.

The air of grandeur on this mini-album can be undermined only by its natural feel. A masterpiece.

*****

June 13, 2018

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