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The Blackheart Orchestra The Blackheart Orchestra
Album: Mesmeranto
Label: Esoteric
Tracks: 14

The Blackheart Orchestra, also known as Chrissy Mostyn and Richard Pilkington, whilst only two people, are indeed an orchestra, as anyone who has seen them perform live will attest. Mesmeranto , very unusually these days, a sixty minute piece of music split into 14 songs, which play out like scenes, so visual are the songs contained within.

The intriguing title, Mesmeranto, was created by Rick; a blend of mermerise and Esperanto, the universal language. Listening to the album, there could be no more appropriate title. It is truly mesmerising and draws you in from the first note, holding you within itself until the final chord. There are few albums which possess such universality; this collection works on so many levels; listening with less focus on the lyrics, the sound of Chrissy's voice and the accompaniment, take you on their own journey. At times she brings to mind the Celtic sinngers who make beautiful mouth music as it is called; no words required, just music and sound. Once you engage with the lyrics, the journey changes, to one filled with emotion; loss, grief, anger and ultimately hope and joy.

Written and recorded in a period of 18 months from November 2017 to April 2019; the songs written in the UK, Denmark and Germany. All come from a very honest, deep, raw, place, having derived from Chrissy's personal experiences during that time. All of these very human, relatable, experiences and emotions are juxtaposed to create something truly exquisite. The overall sound, I feel, follows on from the sound of Now That We Are Ghosts, on their last album, to explore a deeply ethereal place within the many layers of their music. The lyrics are filled with imagery and metaphors, which may or may not be immediately apparent. Some themes recur, quite cleverly, through the album; wolves being the one which particularly resonates.

Left to Right is their song for peace; touching, powerful and so releveant for our current world. Other standout tracks include Wolves, In Another Lifetime, Back to Earth, I Am, Never Do Do I and Good Weather.

In conclusion, this is an incredibly special, emotion filled album, which both needs and deserves to be heard. Truthfully, I think this is the album of Blackheart Orchestra's career.

Helen Mitchell