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Canaan : Walk Into My Open Womb

The most enjoyable aspects of a remarkable Canaan song is the juxtaposition of sounds and vocals, the juxtaposition of music that energizes the moribund depression. 'Walk Into My Open Womb' builds upon the successes established with 'Blue Fire' but carries the success into new venues. Each encounter with this album serves to amaze me, knowing that there is a band out there than can craft such beauty with a style so sombre and simple. This is best exhibited with 'A Magic Farewell'. The lyrics are kept brief in this song, but are made so vibrant and poignant by the most inspiring, soul-wrenching layering of guitar, drum, and keyboard. The poetic chorus and refrain are repeated: "Shadows running (Ombre)/ shadows bleeding (Sangue) /shadows breathing (Ombre) /Like in a magic farewell /Waters over waters we breathe/And through these doors we pass/never to return again."

With such short lyrics laid bare, only the music and craftsmanship of combining the elements stand for judgment. Thankfully, it works so well as to bring tears to the eye. 'Heaven' works nearly as well, but suppresses the lyrics to mere drones and inaudible rants. This forces the listener to concentrate on his or her emotional response to the aesthetic. The tempo remains constant, yet layers are built upon layers with new instruments entering and escaping the soundscape. This energizes, or rather psyches up the listener, to use the energy of the layering. If the atmosphere wasn't so introspective and ethereal, I would use this song as inspiration before running a marathon or some other heroic feat. But the song is intended to elicit despair not heroism, and because the listener can't help but succumb to the utter defeat of his soul, the energy that one draws from the song serves only to make the emotional response that much stronger.

A two-disc masterpiece, 'Walk Into My Open Womb' remains one of the essential doom albums of all time. This album is plagued only by the occasional shift into noise tracks that is evident in every Canaan release (see my review of 'Blue Fire'). Certainly others do not share my distain for these nonsense tracks, and in fact I do not wholly dislike them - I just feel that they are out of place and may stand up well on a separate release. The second album also tends to delve into the whiny minimalism that sometimes mars My Dying Bride and other bands. The track 'Roomaskin' is a good example of this. However, the noise tracks and occasional filler tracks do little to damage the otherwise beautiful creation that is this double album.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. The Kanaanian Dawn
2. Surrounded
3. A Magic Farewell
4. The Glass Shield
5. The Pride Of Perdition
6. Aurora Consurgens
7. Walk Into My Open Womb
8. Scent of Anguish
9. Remembrance

1. Codex Void
2. Left
3. Heaven
4. The Rite Of Hummiliation
5. Roomaskin
6. The Orion Conspiracy
7. A Song for Pain
8. A New Beginning
9. Angel Nail

Duration : Approx. 93 minutes

Visit the Canaan bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-???? by Matt Hoffman
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