Giles Corey
Giles Corey


4.0
excellent

Review

by Channing Freeman STAFF
July 4th, 2011 | 197 replies | 39,152 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: More weight.

In the book that accompanies Giles Corey, Dan Barrett makes an interesting point. Giles Corey had the choice between being hanged and being crushed to death by stones, and he chose to be crushed. “He made them murder him. He made it ugly.” Being hanged is ugly as well, but it's at least quick provided nothing goes wrong, and relatively neat unless the body is left on display afterward. With the Giles Corey project, Barrett chose both. The book is like being hung at the gallows, a relatively neat package that can be read in an hour or less, capable of stirring ugly thoughts but only if you dwell on it for too long. And at the end, there is hope, or if not hope, at least acceptance that as long as you aren't dead, life is going to proceed. Relatively neat, you see. Not strictly an ideal outlook, but good enough.

Giles Corey the album takes more of an influence from Giles Corey the historical figure (although the book is named after him, he is only mentioned at the end; however, it is the book's most important section). It works almost in reverse. The first song is arguably the heaviest tonally and also the most interesting as it pertains to the cause of the project as a whole. While the entire album contains samples of EVP recordings, etc., it is “The Haunting Presence” that contains a snippet of Barrett's own recording, purportedly containing a whole bunch of noise that was made while he was unconscious for an hour. It's disconcerting enough without having read the book, but I was admittedly hesitant to listen to the track again after reading it, even if I am skeptical of the veracity of Barrett's claim. The “reverse-crush” effect is quite fitting; if we assume the album starts at the height of Barrett's depression and ends at the cessation, then the extremely discomfiting nature of “The Haunting Presence” makes sense and cements its place as the most suffocating track on the album.

As the record goes on, things lighten up as much as they can for such a bleak project. From the book, we can gather that Barrett is able to recognize beauty in despair and the album shows that. The mid-section of “Spectral Bride” is uncommonly jaunty, “Grave Filled With Books” has a gorgeous conclusion, and “No One Is Ever Going To Want Me”, despite its name and lyrics, is incredibly catchy, especially for the last minute when Barrett repeats, “I want to feel like I feel when I'm asleep.” Barrett's overdubbed vocals are somewhat predictable given the subject matter, but the sheer eeriness of his ghostly droning justifies them (the man really does have a beautiful voice). By book's end, Barrett has conquered his depression at least for the time being, but closer “Buried Above The Ground” hints otherwise, at least at first. Upon subsequent listens, it has a sort of rebellious nature about it, something in the way the horn section, although slightly dissonant, dominates the song as if to respond to Barrett's devils by daring them to bring it on.

Barrett's oft-quoted description of the project is “acoustic music from the end of the Industrial Revolution.” It evokes the era perfectly, sounding at once both like progress and regression, of knowledge and superstition, helping and hindering. For all the changes made to the world around us there are still innate things in humans that will cause us to harm ourselves and to hold ourselves back from our true potential. The best thing about Giles Corey is that it all seems okay almost in spite of itself, that for all Barrett's attempts to make us inhabit his desolate soundscape, goodness shines through in brief flashes and its light is visible if only for a moment.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
TheLodge
July 4th 2011



40 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool beans. Checking.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2011



15732 Comments


nice

Oathbreaker
July 4th 2011



1649 Comments


HaNL rule.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2011



17204 Comments


shit.

FelixCulpa
July 4th 2011



1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Great review chan. Favorite album, thus far this year. Probably will give this a five at the end of
the year if I still feel the same about as I do now. Now I just keep waiting
for that damn book to come in the mail.

Ohh and I agree with what you said concerning "The haunting Presence". From reading another review
when I got the album and read what the cacophony actually was I had trouble listening to it the first
couple times. Still pretty spooky.

Adabelle
July 4th 2011



4255 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This sounds intriguing, might check it out tomorrow, great review (goes without saying for you but hey).

Athom
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2011



17204 Comments


why yes, it is a contrived shit stain of an album.

ftfy

FelixCulpa
July 4th 2011



1240 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

chamberd89 and ThirtySixChambers I think I confuse the two of quite often now that I think of it. And
yeah, boo^
Edit: Surprised you'd find the album contrived, out of anything.

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
July 4th 2011



7023 Comments


first song is so terrible but the rest is decent

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

Spare
July 4th 2011



5271 Comments


high quality album adam and chambered can eat a dick

qwe3
July 4th 2011



21355 Comments


hmmmmmm i love hanl but

ziroth
July 4th 2011



1252 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Bravo, Channing. This album is gorgeous.

North0House2
July 4th 2011



5851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Awesome, I love HANL, gonna check this out.
Sounds awesome, great review.

Digging: Amen Dunes - Love

North0House2
July 4th 2011



5851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whoa, I'm only a few minutes in, but I tell I can like this.
It basically sounds like an acoustic, more indie oriented, HANL. I'm gonna love this thing, I can tell.

Eskate87
July 4th 2011



959 Comments


album is stunning

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 4th 2011



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

and for anyone who hasn't seen it yet, here is the review of the book that comes with the album

http://sputnikmusic.com/blog/?p=7145

Blindsided
July 4th 2011



1871 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review, still waiting on my damned book.

DFelon204409
Emeritus
July 4th 2011



3995 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Highly recommended for anybody who is a human fucking being.

North0House2
July 4th 2011



5851 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Wow this is blowing me away.
Track 7 is my favorite, so far. I love the relaxing intro... But the end to that song is just incredible.

pmmets07
July 4th 2011



5866 Comments


pos'd for the summary



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