Released: July 2018
Reviewed by: Benedict Roff-Marsh
Last week I had a rant about how hard it was to find anything to review. This week was worse. Way worse.
I flicked through 15 pages with 8 releases each trying to find something that at least seemed honest & real. That’s 120 releases! I got stuff so consistently ghastly that I have to assume that it is a trend. Or at least a phase of the moon.
Three tracks hit with a blast of noise so over-loud I feared for my studio monitors (that can take a hiding). Three songs appeared to start in the middle as though no attention were given to Arrangement at all. Overall singing was ghastly. Not being a perfectionist but if you can’t sound passionate then no amount of Auto-Tune or pretending to be Punk or Experimental will save you. Many pieces were simply 15-second loops that appeared to run for 3-4 minutes with no real attempt to build anything past the initial loop. Plenty of uncropped images (with no album or artist titles) masquerading as covers…
Music should represent our best offered to posterity, to humanity, to life. This sort of :poop: does none of that.
Then I found this interesting work which is from a group that sings devotional music.
The background is that this couple form the core of a group of people who meet on the beach in Toronto Canada (again with the Canadians) to sing their songs. Let them explain:
In India, Yeshu is Hindi for “Jesus.” Satsang means “gathering of the truth.” Typically, satsangs in India are gatherings of people who worship together, often using devotional songs called bhajans and kirtans.
I have been having quite a lot of Devotional material crossing my path recently. From hand-waving Biblical types to Christian Metal and even a few chant projects. Must be that moon phase.
Normally if I pass hippie types banging bongoes in the park I berate myself for having forgotten to pop a hand grenade in my pocket alongside my hankie. Oops did I say that out loud! Detective Murdoch will be after me :-O
When done well, Devotional music is a special thing. I am an Athiest so I don’t buy into the actual details of the God being exalted but so long as the form does what I consider to be its real job of singing the praises of life in general and bringing hope then I can really enjoy it.
Thankfully this record immediately rings out as honest & genuine so their sense of singing out the praises of life, nature and human achievement sit well.
The recordings were made in a studio setting so there are no seagulls or scruffy moments. Production wise, everything seems completely straightforward which is very pleasing. It even goes toward strengthening the overall honest-offering vibe.
The singing isn’t quite up there with Sheila Chandra but it isn’t necessary at all as this is from the heart and that makes the very minor gaffs, very minor. Almost endearing as they show that these are ordinary mortals offering their best to the universe.
You get over 43 minutes of songs that are very even in style and feel. It doesn’t drag or become annoying. Best of all, Yeshu Satsang Toronto offers this, and other recordings, for “name your price” so if you want to get a refreshing bit of devotion in your life then it is worth using the link below. A big Metal Salute (courtesy of the sadly not immortal Ronnie James Dio) from me to the Canadian hippie people.