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a winged victory for the sullen - A Winged Victory for the Sullen
We were always going to dig a band called 'A Winged Victory For The Sullen', but we're pleased to find that their music's actually very special too. It's a collaboration between composer Dustin O'Halloran and Stars Of The Lid's Adam Wiltzie, bolstered by contributions from Hildur Gudnadottir and Peter Broderick, and if you're familiar of the past work of all these sizeable talents then you'll have an idea of what to expect from the album: richly emotive chamber music with a supremely advanced grasp of space and atmosphere. 'We Played Some Open Chords' is the arresting opener, piano and string reverberations melting together imperceptibly before your very ears; 'Requiem For The Static King' is a fittingly beautiful elegy for the late Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse, and sure enough it seems to tremble with its own terrible sense of loss. We can't think of many albums of recent times that have so skilfully balanced droning minimalism with open, expressive melody; the results are completely bewitching, swelling to a near-symphonic climax in 'Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears'. This is a grief-stricken album, make no mistake, but the sheer artistry at work makes it a resoundingly uplifting listen.