On “Faking Gold and Murder” AEthenor’s core trio of Vincent De Roguin (Shora), Daniel O’Sullivan (Guapo), and Stephan O’Malley (SunnO))), KTL) are again bolstered by some stellar contributions from free percussionists Nicholas Field and Alex Babel. Also joining the fray is guitarist Alexander Tucker, along with the consistently cracked apocalyptic rants of David Tibet. While adding more members into the mix always increases the risk of losing some sense of focus, the four unnamed tracks created here form a strikingly coherent statement.
The first track opens with some animated percussion and electronics splatter before settling into a swirling mass of sonics that ebbs and flows around Tibet’s hallucinogenic fairy tale. Cymbal washes segue into the second track where bell-like organ tones ring out from a bed of calming, though somewhat unsettling, ambient textures before the atmosphere darkens considerably, greeting Tibet’s ghostly piped in vocals. The third track, perhaps the highlight of the album, is built around Babel and Field’s circular percussion interplay and some menacing low-end resonances. Layer upon layer of sound is piled on, pushing Tibet to a near frenzy, though ultimately drowning him out. The album closes out on a tranquil note with a dreamy organ and electronics piece that finds Tibet coming as close to actually singing as he’ll ever get.
Given Tibet’s contributions and the overall atmosphere, Nurse With Wound comparisons are undeniable. That said, the touches of percussion push this into original territory and give “Faking Gold and Murder” a dynamic edge. It’s certainly hard to view this album as the work of a mere side project, as it could hold its own among some of the better offerings from these artists’ catalogs. 8/10 -- David Perron (20 May, 2009)