Leafblade - 'The Kiss Of Spirit And Flesh'

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Leafblade - 'The Kiss Of Spirit And Flesh'

One of the most accomplished albums that has crossed my path in 2013.

Whilst perusing internet music sites recently, I came across a quote from Anathema front man Daniel Cavanagh, which talked about the new album from Leafblade entitled 'The Kiss Of Spirit And Flesh'. He had just finished producing and playing on it and said that "working with Sean Jude (Leafblade's main protagonist) –who in his opinion is one of the great writers working in progressive music today – was a privilege". Just those few words had me intrigued, so I purchased said album and I have to agree wholeheartedly with Mr Cavanagh and say that listening to the songs on this album are indeed a privilege.

The music itself is an ethereal, esoteric, captivating mix of folk and prog, with Sean Jude providing superb guitar, both electric and acoustic, plus heartfelt thoughtful vocals throughout the album. Also, having the helping hands of Anathema's Daniel Cavanagh and Daniel Cardoso and their multi-instrumentalist talents to help deliver the music of Jude's vision is just the icing on the cake. The lyrics for each of the songs are taken from many of Sean Jude's published books of poetry, and they transfer to the prog genre seemingly with ease. Each song is about the beauty of life, nature and how we perceive it; and with mythical elements also weaving in and out of the lyrics and casting a magical spell as you listen to the music, you are drawn into the writer's fantasy world. 'Bethlehem' is a hauntingly beautiful way to start an album, wonderful acoustic guitar and clever orchestration building from a humble start and inviting you into this strange otherworldly place Sean Jude has constructed through his poetry and words.

'The Hollow Hills (A Starry Heart)' has some dark moments coupled with strong earthy vocals and again the track builds over its length to a powerful denouement, and I especially like the way the simple tones of the acoustic guitars are superseded, when crashing power chords that at first seem out of place, yet fit in to the songs structure just the same, join the song half way through. Other tracks to watch for are 'Thirteen' which swirls and drifts out of the speakers wrapping you in night time forest greenery and 'Beneath A Woodland Moon', a song that tells of the loving heart of nature and it's guardians, the tracks dancing along on the melodic refrains of Sean Jude's acoustic guitar and his light airy emotion filled vocals.

Leafblade may not be the usual kind of harder more amplified prog that we cover in this magazine but 'TKOSAF' is still one of the most accomplished albums that has crossed my path in 2013. As I suggested earlier, it is a privilege to listen to.

Ian Johnson

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