Album: Arbouretum, The Gathering (Thrill Jockey)

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The Independent Culture

According to singer/guitarist Dave Heumann, this fourth album by Baltimore quartet Arbouretum is inspired by C G Jung's The Red Book, and the psychologist's fascination with the numinous – hardly the best advertising tagline to maximise those downloads, but deserving of approval for that reason alone.

Arbouretum deal in an odd blend of folk and heavy rock, these seven tracks trudging along like a deep-sea diver traversing the sea bed in ten-league boots: it's stoner-folk-rock, like a heavier version of Midlake or an opiated Fairport, particularly when skirling guitar adds detail to "When Delivery Comes". Opener "The White Bird" is typical: thick, congested fuzz-chords and leaden bassline carry Heumann's stern vocal like a palanquin, his wheedling guitar solo hemmed in on all sides by swaddling sound.

DOWNLOAD THIS The White Bird; The Highwayman; When Delivery Comes