While we wait for the new album from Brendan Perry (and my goodness doesn’t the song Utopia sound good!) I thought it’d be a great time to revisit Brendan’s first solo outing “Eye of the Hunter” which is an understated beauty that grows more comfortable with you upon each listen with its wistful ways and subtle taut underline of tension.
“Saturday’s Child” opens the album in mellow fashion. The acoustic guitars are soft and the plucking gentle. The underscoring keyboards add a subtle stargazing quality to it but its the vocals that really shine through. Perry’s range is let loose and has a great speaker presence.
“Voyage of Bran” feels like a real trudge but in a good sense. There’s a desolation to the song that really makes it stand out and the extra instrumentation really gives it an ethereal quirk. A personal highlight.
“Medusa” couples with the previous track in its slightly otherworldly quality but this is a beautiful waltz that is both downbeat yet sway-able – the kind of song that would have the undead following the piper to their deaths. The strings really add that extra point to the song.
“Sloth” is a more country styled acoustic piece which breezes by like a summer day, similar to “I Must Have Been Blind” which uses the guitar strumming to gain a nice beat in the chorus, the first time a beat of sorts is actually used on the album. The chorus’ vocals are particular strong here and the end passage is lovely.
“The Captive Heart” is the first song to use drums and reminds me of old western movies with its “cowboy guitar”. The song is probably the most commercial of the album but even then its nowhere near a mainstream sound. It stands out above all for its music quality – it’s a great song.
“Death Will Be My Bride” continues the band blues with an eerie taut song that’s full of atmosphere and unusual arrangements and guitar noises. It’s a nice change of sound as largely the album is mellow with a pinch of downbeat and this one adds the mystery.
“Archangel” closes the album however in style. Backwards guitar noises and Perry’s choir-esque vocals open the song for the first few minutes in what is a beautiful sounding piece but one that is also quite eerily empty and deserted too. Then Brendan breaks out with the closing half of the track with a controlled anger that isn’t really present on the rest of the album. It’s such a great contrast, “Archangel” quickly became a favourite at HPM.
Despite being only 8 tracks long, “Eye of the Hunter” isn’t a short album and doesn’t feel under done. The mellow overtones is a completely different sound from Dead Can Dance and is only really hinted in the “American Dreaming” and “I Can See Now”. Think of an album of that material and you’re half way there. Now sit back and enjoy it and lets look forward to the new album some 10 years later, due out this year.