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Esben And The Witch Wash The Sins Not Only The Face Thomas Nall

Esben & The Witch

Wash The Sins Not Only The Face

Heavenly/PIAS

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Esben & The Witch

Wash The Sins Not Only The Face

Opening track, Iceland Spar, sets the pace and tone for the rest of Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, the second album for Esben And The Witch. It starts with a cracking shoegazey riff and leads straight into the ethereal vocals of Rachel Davies. Often tagged as ‘gothic rock’ the Brighton trio have managed to craft a beautiful album that expands upon their acclaimed first release.

The first thing you realise upon listening to the album is that they aren’t just doing what they did last time. You still have Davies’ echoey vocals and Daniel Copeman’s industrial-style drumming, but we now get a broader spectrum of playing styles and effects than were heard on debut album, Violet Cries. The track, Deathwaltz, gives us some great tremolo guitar while Despair sees a move into a more synth-driven piano line. Due to their name and the sound of their first album, many people took Esben And The Witch to be a purely gothic band. However, Wash The Sins Not Only The Face will definitely change people’s perceptions of the band. While Davies’ verses are definitely eerie and dark, there is a lot more to them than just that. They’re a talented bunch of musicians and have a range beyond the description. Tracks on the album such as The Fall Of Glorieta Mountain provide a great interlude from the heavier side of the release into a wistful ballad. 

In the end what comes out from Esben And The Witch is an album full of surprises. Each track is noticeably different from the last and keeps you entertained and listening the whole way through.

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