The Violet Burning - The Violet Burning

Tuesday 1st October 1996
The Violet Burning - The Violet Burning
The Violet Burning - The Violet Burning

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
LABEL: Domo DOM8110-02

Reviewed by James Lewis

I picked this one up in my favourite London Christian music store, having been very impressed by a track called "Low" on a US 1993 V/A compilation Third Wave: Reality Rocks'. The track appears again here newly recorded along with 11 others. The new line up, for a US secular indie label includes Prayer Chain guitarist Andy Prickett, and it's not surprising that with PC producer Steve Hindalong helping Mike Pritzl to twiddle the knobs here, comparisons between this release and 'Mercury' can be drawn. Other reference points are Smashing Pumpkins or Radiohead, inasmuch that they all share in common a brooding power which has almost as much in common with darker progressive rock as grunge. I wouldn't say this album is catchy, but it is compelling, drawing you back repeatedly. The triple guitar line up makes for a dense tapestry of sound which reveals new textures with each play. This does make "Low" sound slightly bloated in comparison with the leaner original, however. I was given a copy of the Violet's debut, 'Chosen', after I bought this, and it's difficult to believe they are not two entirely different groups. From a brash band who pioneered alternative worship (actually more sub-metal than alternative), they have transformed into an outfit producing turbulent and occasionally disturbing rock. "Fever", in particular, with its self-censored "swearing", is likely to provoke cries of backsliding and compromise. However, look elsewhere and songs like "Goldmine", "Eleven" and others hark towards God. Given that in "Arabic Tremolo Radio", Michael sings "Baby, don't let go/Spirit, don't let go", even the apparent girl/boy songs suggest underlying symbolism,

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