Giles Corey
Giles Corey


5.0
classic

Review

by Max Paradise USER (18 Reviews)
July 19th, 2011 | 15 replies | 5,356 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is what a modern masterpiece sounds like.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

When Have A Nice Life released their seminal double-album Deathconsciousness in 2008, it was hard to imagine how the world of music could really be the same afterwards. Naturally, a vast majority of musicians didn't even know Have A Nice Life existed, but it was difficult to listen to Deathconsciousness and come out of it unchanged. The tragic atmospherics of 'Bloodhail' and the massive weight of 'Hunter' were awe-inspiring, astonishing, original(!), and beyond possible description at the time. Now, three years later, Dan Barrett, one half of the Have A Nice Life project, has released his first solo album as Giles Corey. And every single thing that was said about Deathconsciousness three years ago can and will be said about Giles Corey today. It's a similar concept--reverb-heavy, deeply melancholic home-made music that sounds like it came from a whole different world accompanied by a 100-something page book. But this time around, the music sounds more organic, more tragic, simply heavier.

As a whole, Giles Corey lacks the physical weight of Deathconsciousness. It doesn't have the huge, intimidating drums, the tight grooving bass jams, or the terrifying electric guitars to throw around, but it makes up for it by creating a bleak, lonesome, deeply intimate and isolating world for the listener to become engulfed in. It takes the basic folk music template and turns it completely on its head. Songs like 'Blackest Bile' and 'A Sleeping Heart' are beautiful, sad, intimate acoustic numbers, primarily featuring Dan Barrett's beautiful voice against a backdrop of acoustic guitars and various instrumental bits and pieces, drawing you into his world, but feeling almost uplifting at times.

On the other hand, songs like 'The Haunting Presence' create the exact opposite atmosphere. Distorted, screaming vocals ring over terrifying, pounded pianos and absolutely haunting guitars and drums. It's certainly the token 'play this song when you're alone at night and want to be scared ***less' track of the album, but it's also just one of the many insanely powerful pieces of music Dan Barrett creates on Giles Corey, which then progresses through the beautiful, Bon Iver-styled low-key indie pop of 'Grave Filled With Books' and the sample-aided atmospheres of 'Empty Churches.'

But it's on late-album highlights 'No One Is Ever Going To Want Me' and 'Buried Above Ground' where Dan Barrett's prowess really shines. Both songs have beautiful acoustic build-ups to massive climaxes, but approach their concept in remarkably powerful and different manners. 'No One Is Ever Going To Want Me' is a slow, tragic build, featuring Dan's always-gorgeous voice over his trademark acoustic guitars, before finally, over six minutes in, the song simply explodes. It's hard to even explain, it's the kind of moment that would make you have to pull your car over to the side of the road just to catch your breath. The power of the final quarter of the song is immense, crushing, and indescribable, and the bleak, deathly landscapes that are painted by the music on the track are absolutely stunning.

On the flipside, 'Buried Above Ground' has a short build to a massive extended finale of bursting, triumphant horns, starting off so hopeful before the final melody of the album sets in and the crushing melancholy that has pervaded the whole record begins to leak from every seam of the song. It's another one of the many insanely powerful, impossible to describe moments that come with the huge experience of listening through Giles Corey. No, it's not an easy listen. It's a long, agonizing, incredibly bleak album, but it is beautiful, powerful, and life-changing. This is easily the best album of the year so far, if not one of the greatest works of art ever recorded. Don't miss out.



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user ratings (237)
Chart.
4
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other reviews of this album
Channing Freeman STAFF (4)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
LiquidVelvet
July 19th 2011



629 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

There's no possible way I did this album justice, but I tried. So there ya go.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2011



30865 Comments


Idk, I think this is incredibly overrated. But i can still see why people would be getting a kick out of it

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
July 19th 2011



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if not one of the greatest works of art ever recorded


damn

alachlahol
July 19th 2011



7471 Comments


this album saved my life

FelixCulpa
July 19th 2011



1236 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah the review is a little hyperbolic, even though I agree with parts of it.

Eskate87
July 19th 2011



959 Comments


Album will most likely be a 5 for me as well. 'No One is ever going to want me' and 'Blackest Bile' remain my favorites. But the album as a whole is it's own experience. Good review.

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
July 19th 2011



8738 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is great but by no means a classic

i think people are just getting caught up in the backstory

Digging: Mournful Congregation - Concrescence of the Sophia

EyesWideShut
July 19th 2011



3093 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Giles is my AOTY so far. As good as Deathconsciousness is, I didnt want to hear the same drum beat and Joy Division'esque bass lines again. This is Dan progressing with new ideas and sounds.

mad good yo.

North0House2
July 19th 2011



5805 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"god i love dan barrett"

If the next HANL release is as incredible, or more incredible, than Deathconsciousness, I will be absolutely convinced that the man is a musical genius.


Also, I love the intro guitar and hang drum ( That's what the instrument sounds like.) on 'No One is Ever Going to Want Me.'

This album is phenomenal, but not a classic for me. Not yet.

Digging: Martin Grech - Open Heart Zoo

NYdubber
August 27th 2011



73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

listen to In Pieces "Learning To Accept Silence"

...a great album

then listen to In Pieces "Lions Write History"

...classic album

Dan's vision goes without rival regardless of genre/medium.

LiquidVelvet
August 27th 2011



629 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Dan didn't sing on Silence, only on Lions Write History. He's so cool and friendly too, it's really awesome. Just amazing.

IamThedrunk
August 27th 2011



8 Comments


Wow, this guy is a faggot

LiquidVelvet
August 28th 2011



629 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

You mean, like, the musician of the decade? :|

DarkNoctus
Contributing Reviewer
August 28th 2011



8738 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

let's not get carried away :]

NYdubber
September 8th 2012



73 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeh, I know he wasn't on Silence. I meant that he took the band to another level where the previous guy didn't. They went from a good band to really good one



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