(29 July 2001) The third album by vocalist Lisa Hammer and
multi-instrumentalist Eric Hammer performing as Mors Syphilitica
is a 14-track project entitled Feather and Fate
(Projekt (USA) Projekt 118, 2001). It is their first release on
Projekt Records who now handle the group's promotion and distribution.
Eric insists on performing the instrumentals on the albums himself to
achieve his aims for sonic purity. The duo are joined by David
Mecionis (bass) and Hajji Majer (drums) when they perform on stage.
Listeners will instantly appreciate the duo's attention to detail
from first listen with the lushness of the arrangements and Lisa Hammer's
lovely soaring vocal excursions. A modern interpretation of the earlier
gothic genre, the group's music draws on roots of various ethnic cultures,
but it is first and foremost vocally strong. The music is quite moody
and dark in places. We preferred the brighter numbers and focused attention
heavily on "The Hues Of Longing," a Renaissance-style track with layers
of vocals and shimmering guitars that opens the album.
"Naturally Cruel" is a modern gothic-style anthemic track with
seriously sung vocals and further shimmering electric guitars. Although
Lisa's vocals were set back in the mix, we found the excursions to the
higher notes quite intriguing. "Only A Whirlwind," "Fountain Of Tears"
and "Galatea" continue to build the theme in a similar style, while
"The Chains of Reason" has harder electric guitar parts and more
dramatically daunting vocal excursions.
The album's ethnic-oriented tracks provide an interesting contrast
to the other numbers. The middle-eastern texture of the title track
and standout track "My Virgin Widows" are notable examples; here Lisa's
vocals soar delightfully above the crisply played instrumentals and vocal
harmonies. We especially appreciated the layers of Lisa's vocal work in
"Glorious Breath," one of the album's moodier tracks.
"Nostalgia's Sea" and "A Fever Dream" are more symphonic and vocally
brighter, as rich vocally as they are melodic instrumentally. "Sins Of The
Dove" is one of the album's brightest track blending gothic with lush
progressive and folk arrangements; Lisa's multi-tracked vocals are
absolutely delightful. The album concludes with the rhythmic "How Long"
with similarly lush vocal harmonies.
The latest release from Mors Syphilitica Feather and Fate
will serve long-time enthusiasts and new discoverers equally well. An
album with a modern gothic edge and stunning female vocals, it should
appeal to a broad audience.
Sample the sounds and read more about
the band at their website.
Read further reviews, listen to soundbites and order the album from
here. Certain to delight female vocal enthusiasts, this album is
worth further exploration. Take a journey today, this one is a nice