Review Summary: Six Organs of Admittance find their folk niche with 'Luminous Night'.
Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance) came into the "public" consciousness mainly because of his collaboration with Comets on Fire and his 2005 release 'School of the Flower'. Following those involvements he established a more polished sound and in turn lost some of the original attraction that 'School of the Flower' provided. Not to mention the fact that twenty three minute ragas don't have much replay value. After releasing at least two records a year since 'School of the Flower' Chasny took 2008 off to seemingly craft 'Luminous Night' which is his best record in years. The pristine production and wandering aspects are still present, but Chasny has reigned in his more out there aspects and crafted what is his most traditionally folk record yet.
Six Organs of Admittance over the last couple of years has flavored its sound with various instrumentation whether it be percussion or other guitarists. On 'A Luminous Night' flute ('Actaeon's Fall') and tabla ('Bar-Nasha') make appearances. The variety of sounds really help diversify the record from Chasny's last few. Randall Dunn's hands on the production also positively mixes into Six Organs of Admittance's sound most obviously on 'The River of Heaven'. The album in general seems to have moved Chasny's sound away from the more hypnotic Fahey stylings present in his earlier work and into the more droning, effected sound that Randall Dunn's associates (Sunn0))), ASVA, Kayo Dot) are known for. This is in obvious contrast with the increase of folk undertones, but 'Luminous Night' is successful in blending both together in a effortless way.
Six Organs of Admittance lost part of their attraction over the past couple of years due to over saturation of material. Chasny seemed to be releasing record after record and the sounds on them all seemed almost half finished. This year is no different, but the works seem to be patiently composed. 'RTZ' was a compilation of his earlier work with a few unreleased tracks. 'Luminous Night' seems to be forgoing all influence of that earlier work. Chasny has completed the move started with 'School of the Flower' into a more polished sound and 'Luminous Night' seems to be the finest example from this new period of Six Organs of Admittance.