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Aural Pleasure Review

House of Low Culture: Poisoned Soil

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The latest release from former ISIS member Aaron Turner's new project begins with a piercing drone that segues into gorgeous analog synth and chant-like vocals before moving into Spaghetti Western guitar territory that is destroyed by a smattering of static and distorted vocals. The restlessness of the opening track's constant development and destruction of motifs proves to be a continuous and surprisingly effective theme throughout Poisoned Soil. The three long-form compositions on the album are constantly changing, but Turner's masterful mixing and subtle drones give the record an undeniable consistency that makes the whole thing work. Opener "Spoiled Fruits of the Kingdom" provides some of the album's most abrasive moments while the other two tracks more openly flirt between the noisy and the beautiful. "The Ladder That Leads to Nowhere" begins with a pummeling drone before moving into one of Poisoned Soil's subtlest guitar excursions. However, as good as these first two pieces are, closer "Inappropriate Body" is an amazing meditation that weaves warped guitar, lush modal vocals, and electronics (among other things) into an arresting suite of sounds. Overall, Turner's masterful use of space and texture create an album that leaves the listener endeared and engaged.

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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