The Church - Hologram of Baal

Album cover

  1. Anaesthesia (5:18)
  2. Ricochet (3:34)
  3. Louisiana (6:03)
  4. The Great Machine (5:48)
  5. No Certainty Attached (4:00)
  6. Tranquility (7:38)
  7. Buffalo (5:05)
  8. This Is It (4:23)
  9. Another Earth (3:32)
  10. Glow Worm (6:05)

Cooking Vinyl, 1998

also by The Church:

see also... All About Eve

This fairly strong album showed the Church settling confidently into a stable four-piece line-up. It's in their familiar atmospheric rock style, as the guitars of Marty Willson Piper and Peter Koppes form a richly-textured background to Steve Kilbey's sneering vocals. Their confidence may also have been reflected by the solid presence of Tim Powles, not only behind the drum kit but also behind the studio boards.

It starts off punchily, with the anthemic choruses and pinging riffs of "Anaesthesia" and the hypnotic rants of "Ricochet". The stand-out track is probably the "The Great Machine", its chorus evoking a deserted industrial landscape over a bleak and sweeping backing. But the song writing here hadn't yet fully recovered from the dip in consistency showed by "Magician Among the Spirits". The filler here includes plodders like "Louisiana", the down-beat sneer of "This Is It", and the plainly ordinary "Buffalo". "Tranquility" is an attractively mellow, spacious landscape, but it's a bit on the soporific side. "Glow Worm" however closes the show with a wistful but solid tune, its ebbs and flows decorated with splashes of violin.

February 15, 2005

6 out of 10

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written and maintained by Christopher Jackson