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27 Let The Light In

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1. The Cause MP3 2. Every Day 3. Make Love Not War 4. Try (Part 2) 5. The Light 6. April
2004 Hydra Head Records
Our score 7

by Cory
7/23/2004

While Hydra Head has certainly made a name for itself by putting out some unique and unconventional material, I was a bit confused when I first popped in "Let The Light In," the new EP from Boston's 27. Having already released their first album through Relapse's sister label Release, 27 has found a bit of a following in the metal community, but this record is about as heavy as a feather. Led by the delicately powerful vocals of Maria Christopher, 27 combines the artistic sensibilities of some of their Hydra Head brethren with the hypnotic qualities of Portishead. Add into the mix guest appearances from Isis' Jeff Caxide and Aaron Turner, and the result is something as unpredictable as it is fascinating. Maria Christopher's voice has a breathy quality to it reminiscent of Poe or Suzanne Vega. As each song rolls into a slightly different groove, her delivery is the unifying factor that ties the record together. This is most immediately evident when Isis vocalist Aaron Turner shows up in "April." With a different vocal approach, the band transforms into something completely different. Not necessarily less good, just very different. Aside from the frequent layering of vocal tracks, the rest of the instrumentation on "Let The Light In" is relatively sparse. Driving bass lines, creative drumming and droning guitar lines typically fill out some of the space not already filled by Christopher's unique presence, but the key here seems to be understatement. They leave enough space in their songs for each element to have some breathing room, resulting in a light, airy feel even when the disc occassionally gets harder. Bottom Line: This is not hardcore or metal at all. It is simply good music. This is a case of a band whose appeal defies classification. Somehow 27 has sort of been adopted by the metal community and we should be grateful to have "Let The Light In" and Maria Christopher's enchanting voice. If you're in the mood to take a break from breakdowns and brutality, give this one a spin.

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