Austria's Thelema continue to grow and progress on their latest effort for homegrown label Cineploit Records, exploring dynamic and emotionally resonant territory with a starkly melodic sound.
Growing ventures further beyond the Portishead and Twin Peaks influences which defined the band's Hearing the Light opus a couple of years ago via a dense, layered and textured sound; one which incorporates female vocals, E-bow and ominous, tolling church bells alongside the band's established sound of synth and piano heavy electronica.
Hans Jurgen is the man behind Thelema, and it's on Growing where the man's capabilities as a songwriter are truly rising to the forefront. There are moments here which speak largely of the man's fascination with the cult scores to evocative cinema of the 1960s and 70s, particularly the Italian giallo and horror film. There are even moments which mimic the showdowns of the old spaghetti west, amplified by Jurgen's tasteful use of electric guitar.
There vibe of Growing is pensive for the most part, however, drawing comparisons perhaps to bands like Antimatter and Sigur Ros, while sounding entirely like no one else out there right now in the experimental, electronic music scenes. This is something to be commended, and certainly serves as a feather in the cap for Cineploit Records, for whom Thelema has clearly become a flagship act, a band whose potential is seemingly limitless when it comes to reinventing moody, melodic electronic music.
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