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KLEISTWAHR – For the Lives Once Lived CD

CD edit. released by The Rourth Dimmension in 2023.

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CD edit. released by The Rourth Dimmension in 2023.

Several years ago Gary Mundy of Ramleh/Broken Flag (and far more besides) declared to me that he wished to do one new Kleistwahr album every year until he's no longer able to do them. Fourth Dimension Records has subsequently fulfilled a promise to honour this plan as much as possible and is managing to keep up so far. How Gary manages to keep pulling new ideas out of the proverbial hat at this rate is anybody's guess, but the latest album, 'For the Lives Once Lived', illustrates very clearly that the wellspring he draws from has far from dried up.

If you have been paying attention to the albums that have been released by Fourth Dimension Records during recent years, you should understand that his solo music has retained the molten intensity it has always been propelled by since Kleistwahr was founded in the early 1980s. While the work occasionally seems as though it draws from the same dusty religious setting as some of Messiaen's wonderful organ compositions, there's still an all-encompassing blanket of ravaged psychedelia firmly laced with blood-flecked barbs to help counter this. When Kleistwahr's music seems poised to elevate the atmospheric gestures towards the sublime and elegiac, there's always a gaping maw lined with razor-edged teeth lurking nearby to help keep all those lofty hopes and expectations from getting above themselves.

For the Lives Once Lived' may also surprise many with its opening song, 'Rotten Boroughs', which both stands out from the rest of the album yet makes sense as part of it. You'll see what we mean when you get to it. Otherwise, this is another fantastic album from the unstoppable force that is Gary Mundy's Kleistwahr. Long may it continue.

'For the Lives Once Lived' typically appears packaged in a Broken Flag-style sleeve featuring photos by Chris Low, design by Puppy38, and mastering by Sion Orgon. The album landed on 18 October 2023 and is shipping now.

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