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...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead: Tao Of The Dead Part III

A crowd-funded labour of love – confusing, but brilliant.

To recap: the first 11 tracks of Trail Of Dead’s 2011 opus Tao Of The Dead made up Part I of this conceptual cycle. The final track, a 16-plus-minute post-rock meets punk-psych freakout, formed the second part. Tao Of The Dead Part II: Strange News From Another Planet was perhaps the single most ambitious track they’d ever penned, and thus terribly hard to follow.

Nevertheless, after a somewhat meandering opening this concluding part of the trilogy really delivers.

Some five minutes in, Part III moves from a disconcertingly country riff taken from Part I’s Introduction: “Let’s Experiment” to a more psych-rock theme that recalls The Fairlight Pendant. Considering the song’s conceptual nature, that’s quite a shrewd, deliberate move.

The next section harks back to their Worlds Apart era, with layers of timbres and cinematic yet sparse production, draped lightly over Conrad Keeley’s emphatic vocal. From there, a Pink Floyd-like synth sequence takes over and the band again chart an interstellar path, with spacious guitar drones set against loose bass hooks.

Their Pledgemusic campaign saw their hardcore fanbase come good, and this vital recording really is for them.