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DYLAN CARLSON - Conquistador

It's Sunday. Probably the best day of the week for this album.

But first things first: I bought the CD on Friday, after Dylan Carlson's concert in Hamburg (german review here!).

Even though the show was great it seemed like the Earth guitarist was a a little under the weather, having to clean his nose after each song. On Saturday his condition turned to the worse and he got so sick that he had to go to the hospital and cancel at least the two shows in Berlin and Dresden as of now. So let's all hope that he gets well soon!

For me personally yesterday started with better news, when I found out that the CD I had bought was indeed the Japanese version of the release, which includes a bonus track. And that track "Puente De Los Suspiros" also happened to be the closing song and one of my favorites of his concert.

DYLAN CARLSON - Conquistador (Japan CD) (2018)

Just like his solo shows the premise of the album is very simple, since it mainly consists of one man playing his electric guitar. So it's all about his unique style and the atmosphere it creates.

One a couple of tracks he is subtly supported ghostly slide guitar or deep baritone guitar, which were provided by Sargent House label mate Emma Ruth Rundle.

A third instrumental credit goes to his wife Holly, but given that there are really only very few percussion sounds on the album her role as muse and cover artwork model is probably a lot more important here.

"Conquistador" starts with the title track, which throws its shadow over the whole album, since it has more than double of the length of the following compositions. The main reference is clear. The stripped down approach takes you right back to "Hex: Or Printing In The Infernal Method", the first album of the Earth rebirth in 2005.

Dylan Carlson live
As the guitar meanders through the following tracks, the levels of distortion and effects are varying, and the equilibrium of repetition and melody is shifting. The general style however, which floats between the slowest possible form of country, Carlson's drone roots and the skeletons of doom riffing, always stays intact.

As does the spiritual feeling it evokes and its cinematic scope.

"Conquistador" may be a rather short album. Without the bonus track I'd probably call it an EP. But it's a true gem. And noone hinders you to push repeat.

At least on a Sunday.

Highlights: Reaching The Gulf, Puente De Los Suspiros, Conquistador

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