49 Burning Condors released a strong contender for the album of the year with their latest tribally awakening release, Seventh Hymnal. Penned during lockdown, the 7-track release traverses some tender topics; with the sonorous amalgam of goth rock and occultist alchemy, it is as bewitching as it is emboldening.
It isn’t often I’m left speechless. But considering the very nature of Seventh Hymnal is to express what can never be portrayed through words alone, the arrested daze that 49 Burning Condors left me in speaks volumes of their ability to run with an powerful concept and take you along for the visceral ride until you’re subsequently soothed by the sonic vernacular.
The album opens on the swampy stripped-back bluesy single, Bayou, before Little Death delivers a haunting ode to frailty through baroque strings, sparse vocals and hypnotic percussion. Track 3, Willow Tree, lets the compassion pour through the gentle folkish melodicism before Red Drum Skin will make you want to lead a sacrificial lamb to slaughter. Track 5, Noonday, one of the previously released singles stands as a profound testament to the vocal soul from Kimber before the album concludes on the sorrowfully sublime title single, which is just as cinematic as Ramin Djawadi’s work on Westworld.
Here’s what 49 Burning Condors have to say about their latest release:
“Seventh Hymnal was written during the pandemic; a time of abounding uncertainty, where death loomed around every corner, and chaos lingered in our world, homes, and veins. Our songs are dripping with stories of grief, bodies floating down the river, men drowning to a siren’s song, and of the gods worshipped, who ultimately turned calamitous.
Seventh Hymnal is not only an outpouring of all the things we wanted to say but couldn’t express in regular words to those we loved and even to ourselves, but a benediction and examination of a woman’s role of power in the world of men.”
Review by Amelia Vandergast