Nightshade in Eden by Jim Kirkwood

Jim Kirkwood

Nightshade in Eden

2 tracks

Running time: 1:02:12
Released: 11/2007

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  01   Children Don't Play Here - 16:06
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  02   Nightshade in Eden - 46:06
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More Info

In the distant and very murky past I did a cassette by this name. Actually, I had almost forgotten, it was Dave Law who reminded me. But I always liked the title so I reused it for this CD. The music is completely unrelated to the cassette version even though I retained the theme of environmental pollution. So,yes, just what the music scene needs, another artist banging on about the state of the environment. But, speaking for myself, we need to be occasionally reminded that the problems we have now are not going to go away. The quote I have included in the notes by a medieval nun, ( I kid you not, it is nearly eight hundred years old) quite took me by surprise. This lady, Hildegard of Bingen, was truly visionary, and for me at least, inspirational. One day we will cry over what we have lost. Eden they once called it.
The track "Children Don't Play Here" relates directly to a documentary I saw on the after effects of the "accident" at Chernobyl. I think the title speaks for itself.

The following is a review by SMD

An appropriately melancholy double bass refrain gets the opener 'Children Don't Play Here' to a mournful start. Flutey synth heightens the sadness. This is exquisite darkly beautiful stuff. Slow funereal drums carry us gently forward. The pace really starts to increase however with the introduction of the first sequence, a second following quickly on its heels. Sonic whooshes fly like spectres streaking across the sky. Gradually the intensity builds until the ninth minute where we get a moment of gentle reflection before the tempo quickens once more, though never quite to the previous level, thus allowing a moody attitude to seep in.

The mammoth forty-six minute title track is next and immediately we are plunged into dark slithering realms with just a little lonesome flute providing subtle relief from the malevolent brooding atmospherics. Apocalyptic drum flourishes break out, probably heralding the arrival of some all-powerful being. This feeling of power is emphasised still further by a strident laser shard lead line, threatening all that would appose it. All is then instantly cut away just leaving metallic windy pads then a reverberating drone. This is incredible 'visual' stuff (Jim really should have done the soundtrack to Lord of the Rings!). Then just when my defences are down the entire vast arsenal from before is redeployed in a fraction of a second- giving me a near coronary! This return is short lived however as we descend once more to eerie atmospherics. There is a difference this time however as soft angelic pads impart a lovely contrasting softness. An incredibly rapid, and quite wonderful, sequence now spews forth, followed by another of equal pace and stature. Absolutely awesome! Things morph nicely until the sixteenth minute where gradually the various levels are stripped back An even more devastating sequence and a brace of exciting lead lines take up the slack however and we once again feel the foundations shaking. By the twenty-second minute the shockwaves have passed and we are left in a warm shimmering environment, strange creatures once again showing their scaly heads. A slow four note melodic loop adds a little structure then fades away like the sun emerging then disappearing behind a cloud. It repeats this performance, the second time followed by tranquil flute. With less than fifteen minutes to go a pulse starts to echo out and around this forms the subtlest of percussion lines which itself provides the structure through which the next sequence forms, weaving round it like ivy clinging to an ancient long forgotten statue. Right on cue a second sequence emerges and it seems to me that we are readying ourselves for a final surge and this is indeed the case as things go completely ballistic in a wall of pulsations and wonderful solos. Fan bl**dy tastic! (DL)