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Sleeping Pictures - Many Hands Should Throw Stones

Many Hands Should Throw Stones sees Sleeping Pictures pursuing various musical avenues from piano based songs, to more guitar oriented offerings. It's a further step away from the dark-folk genre where they found themselves following the release of their debut album, Nether Edge on Fluttering Dragon in 2004.

That said the largely acoustic delivery of the tracks 'I Failed You', 'God Or Whatever', and 'The Library of Babel' are firmly rooted in dark folk despite being bolstered by solid bass throb, guitar harmonics and intricate guitar stylings. It's worth keeping in mind that guitarist Gary Parsons recently undertook a stint in Sol Invictus most notably on their The Devil's Steed album. Singer Marc Blackie imparts lengthy lyrics often erotically charged and laced with religious imagery. Blackie's lyrics are littered with lurid sexual detail.

The tracks 'All Bridges Look Better' and 'Not Alone' are particularly reminiscent of Current 93's early ventures in "apocalyptic folk" partly due to the plaintive strum and discordant chords, and partly as a result of Marc Blackie's English accented voice delivered in a soft sing-speak style as he ruminates on the subject of base metals.

Many Hands Should Throw Stones does throw up the occasional musical surprise. There's an oriental flavour to the piano score of 'Saviour's Knuckle' and a few of the more guitar oriented tracks takes the music in a fresh direction. 'Kodak Moment' is especially good, comprising a taut backdrop of rolling beats and low-end bass to which Parson's adds soaring discordant guitar notes. Blackie ponders on sex and religion with a few lines from Charles Bukowski for good measure. Then there's the proto-metal stomp of 'Apocalyptic Caress' with spiralling guitars and Blackie's playful multi-layered delivery.

A series of atmospheric tracks centered around 'The Broken City' runs throughout Many Hands Should Throw Stones from the piano-mellotron of the opener, through the controlled guitar discord of the middle piece to the surging waves of guitar that comprise the closing track, 'The Broken City Sleeps'.

I can't shake the feeling that Sleeping Pictures are heavily influenced by the goth-end of the post-punk scene, and that's despite the progression in musical sounds that they've adopted on this. An intelligent and musically diverse release that will appeal to the more open-eared neo-folker. For more information go to or