By Kimberly Manning | March 3rd, 2011
Arbouretum has traded in their folk-ridden tunes for a heavier, fuzzier sound. Creating a vintage 70s flashback, the Baltimore-based clan has taken on a deeper voice and heavier tone in their newest release, The Gathering, from Thrill Jockey.
Inspired by “The Red Book” by Carl Jung, Arbouretum’s newest release takes lyricism to a whole new level. The group prides itself on creating something unique without the common structured flow of a song. Seeming almost as lengthy poems, each song tells an in-depth story that can only be recognized after continuous listening.
In the opening song “The White Bird,” lead singer Dave Heumann’s voice echoes in a deep undertone throughout the rambling psychedelic guitar riffs and remains in a similar melody throughout the majority of the album. However, in the cover of “Highwayman,” the group takes on a more tranquil tone and uses smoother vocals and instrumentals than the original by The Highwaymen. Sounding more poetic and graceful, Arbouretum returns back to their folk roots for just a moment to reincarnate a song which was song by some of country’s greats.
“Song of the Nile” brings vintage rock back in full force. Inspired by Gnostic mythology, the sporadic lyrics string the epic song together without seeming too lengthy. The 10-minute guitar jam is the perfect signing-off for the quartet.