Music Reviews

Bill Rieflin

Birth of a Giant

First World Music

Finally, it’s arrived, and it is THE SHIT! Look closely at the name. It’s the very same Bill Rieflin who provided innovative percussion for Ministry, Pigface, Chris Connelly, Michael Gira, Revolting Cocks, Sky Cries Mary, Sweet 75, and countless others. I, for one, have been anticipating a solo release from the best-dressed man in the industrial/experimental genre for years.

Of course, if you were expecting anything at all similar to any of his past bands, you will be greatly disappointed. If you expect an adventurous sprawl of songcraft and experimentation, then you will be thrilled. Rieflin handles every instrument at one point or another on this record, with able assistance at times provided by Chris Connelly, Mark Walk, and none other than Robert Fripp. When pressed to draw parallels between Birth of a Giant and a recognizable reference point, I would have to say Brian Eno’s “Another Green World.” Besides the presence of Eno-foil Fripp, its in the mix between melody and madness, the descriptive liner notes crediting “paranoid guitar,” “drunken siren,” and “mood extension,” and the sense of breaking from the past.

As I mentioned before, Rieflin handles the lion’s share of vocals with Connelly, and a good deal of the instruments. Percussion is obviously prominent, but it’s exciting without being showy. Rieflin’s vocals are understated and soothing, almost serving as an instrument in itself.

The songs range from clanging monsters, to elegant interludes, near jungle, quirk pop, to sheer translucent beauty. My personal favorite is the dewdrop elegy that is “Hanging Gardens,” where Rieflin assures us that “Rain will fall again,” Connelly sings a near silent reply, and strings swirl around tribal dirge drums. Bill Rieflin is carving out a unique niche from the fallout of the “industrial revolution.” Listen closely.

First World Music, , , ; http://www.firstworldmusic.com/


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