Monday, February 25, 2013

Psalters - The Divine Liturgy of the Wretched Exiles (2006)

The Divine Liturgy of the Wretched Exiles from Pennsylvanian tribal/anarcho-punk band Psalters starts off with powerful droning hums, then breaks open into beautiful chanting of "Agios O Theos; Agios Eschiros." The chanting itself is wonderful, all of their voices are very strong and emotional, it's actually quite hard to describe. It's all very hypnotizing. A few track later is "Rich Man and Afghanistan," who's beginning consists of manic and splendid screaming, with a chant between each line. It breaks down into tribal drumming with other instruments thrown in.
All of the singers seem really into it, for good reason. One thing I found to be very interesting about the band itself is that they appear to actually all be an active group of missionaries, travelling through Africa and the Middle East helping those in need and spreading their music. The fact that they are so very sincere in what they do perfectly explains why there is so much emotion put into their music. Based on how into it they are I think they would be a perfect band to see live, it's quite a shame they rarely tour, most likely because they're caught between touring and missionary work. You can read more about the band here. Back to talking more about the album itself as opposed to the band. One thing to note is that the instrumentation is greatly varied, songs seem to have accordions, banjos, guitars, harmonicas, and what I can only assume to be sticks, there are quite a few members in the band, upwards of 7 or so I believe. It's quite a hectic album, there are a couple of slower songs, some more standard yet still very fun folk songs like "Dumpster Divers," and a couple that feel as though the band channeled the spirit of Tom Waits. Even the production of the album itself is very interesting and scrambled. It all contributes to what is probably the second best anarcho-punk album I've ever heard, (we'll be getting to the first one eventually) it's really a required listen even if you are not a big fan of the genre. As for my favorite tracks, it's actually quite difficult to pick them, as this album really just flows together as one long, beautiful song so well, which leaves off on a great song, "Train De Vie." If I had to pick I would have to say either "Trisagion," "Rich Man and Afghanistan," "All Who Are Weary," "Train De Vie," or "Scarf Dance." Again, it's really hard to decide so I just ended up listing a bunch. Truly all the songs on here are great. This album is one that's really hard to not love on first listen.

Christ has died
Christ is risen
Christ will come again

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