Boomkat Product Review:
Ensemble Pearl is a majestic collaboration from Stephen O'Malley (Sunn 0)))/KTL), Atsuo (Boris), Michio Kurahara (Ghost/Boris), and William Herzog (Sunn 0)))), also featuring Eyvind Kang and Timba Harris. Triangulating their cosmic heavy rock sounds "...in an area between Link Wray, Hex-era Earth, and early Tangerine Dream", they drink deeply from the well of foundational 50s-70s rock, using the peerless contemporary music production of O'Malley and Seattle's Randall Dunn to realise a vast and searching vision in six parts. The journey begins with three relatively brief pieces, scanning looming desert guitar figures and spectral strings in 'Ghost Parade', while 'Painting On A Corpse' introduces a slow, stone-breaking percussion section whose presence is crucial to the album's crushing feel. In their first extended excursion, 'Island Epiphany' they leave drag marks across great swathes of moonlit desert, pushed by those pensile, crashing drums to the keening, phosphorescent drones of 'Giant', and the oddly named closure of 'Sexy Angle', where celestial synths soar above almost dubbed-out, lugubrious drums and plummeting bass riffs for what could be an epoch, yet feels almost too brief. Fans of Sunn 0))), Earth, Raime, KTL really need to cop this.