It’s always refreshing when a band that could’ve been marketed as a “members of this other band” project is so wholly removed that all comparisons are rendered pointless. While Los Angeles dark electronic act THIEF’s D. Neal performs as a live member of experimental black metal act Botanist, there’s little similarity between Botanist’s hammered dulcimer-driven chaos and the lush, almost soothing sounds created as THIEF. With Gregorian chant as primary inspiration for THIEF’s music, it’d be easy to assume this would sound like some awkward modern take on the Enigma blueprint, but it’s mercifully removed from all new age dance sounds and is instead a tactfully arranged trip-hop affair with subtle choral work and blissfully tormented lead vocals.
Today, Black Metal & Brews has the honor of sharing a premiere of the sultry and elegant “Skin to Jade,” which will be featured on Thieves Hymn in D Minor, to be released by Lay Bare Recordings this summer. While it’s relatively linear in its delivery, the song itself is layered so densely that it seems to slowly unravel over time in a haunting yet gentle fashion. With no synth pads to be found, this is a choppy and brilliant work culled almost exclusively from samples of sacred chants. It touches on hooky elements that could appeal to the mainstream, yet it’s eerie in a way that will suit the underground’s tastes nicely. Get lost in it and listen below.