A stunning effort...

Seven years in the making, West London’s experimental duo Sons Of Raphael share their first full-length album ‘Full-Throated Messianic Homage’. Following on from their 2018 EP ‘A Nation of Bloodsuckers’, the brothers combine sweet sweeping psych pop vocals to top their melancholy driven indie melodies. Mixed by the late Phillipe Zdar, the album enters into a magically divine and metaphysical realm with mythical imagery to let the mind wander endlessly.

Opening with the subdued ‘Revolution’, the band evoke a gothic and ominous tone which sets the experimental record up ethereally. The starting symphony fades into an obscure orchestral classic that explodes into psychedelia with the introduction of drums. The duo continue to immerse listeners into their uniquely indeterminate, musical world with ‘On Dreams That Are Sent By God’ that knits various myths and rejects the mainstream. Sci-fi synths fly through the dense air and the song exudes an off-the-cuff festive mood, which is beautifully fit for the dance floor.

Blossoming baggy indie dance is reflected in ‘Siren Music’, a floating track which blends rhythmic, percussive elements and entrancing falsetto rich vocals. It’s a bright song with eccentric, religious imagery. Swelling and cinematic, the lyrics document a godless earth devoid of hope, and reflect the band’s electrically dramatic musings on a life higher than what currently exists around them.

Sparkling and futuristic, ‘I Sing Songs For The Dead’ infuses Beach Boys style harmonies with vibrant key changes that maintain a rapid-paced rhythm. Despite the title’s name, it’s an uplifting and twinkling track which reflects the adrenaline rush you’d experience on a theme park ride.

Sons Of Raphael’s ability to transport the listener through airy pop, dreamy soundscapes is stronger than ever, particularly on their cosmic closing track ‘The Sand Dunes Lift Up’. An album which chronicles life and death, love and sin, with its hazy highs and crushing lows, the long-awaited ‘Full-Throated Messianic Homage’ is a stunning effort and promises an exciting future ahead for the duo.

8/10

Words: Sahar Ghadirian

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