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Jarboe & Helen Money: Jarboe & Helen Money

Art rock tag team conjure hymns to the darkness

As collaborations go, this one makes more sense than most. Jarboe has always been a frequenter of stylistic shadows and peripheries; Helen Money is a cellist and composer of no small notoriety in leftfield and avant-garde circles, but with demonstrable links to more mainstream heavy music via session work for Anthrax and Disturbed.

Together, these two mavericks strike a neat balance between the enticing and the claustrophobic, as Jarboe’s knife’s-edge torch songs cling breathlessly to her new partner’s stark but amorphous collages of distorted cello, hissing ambience and mournful keys.

In essence these are ballads, albeit underpinned by a strong sense of disquiet and delivered amid a commanding but complex squall of gothic (in the true sense of the word) melodrama and film noir restraint.

At their most powerful on the harsh but haunting Truth and the glowering Hello Mr Blue, this match made in ethereal heaven delivers a dark charm./o:p

Dom Lawson has been writing for Hammer and Prog for 14 intermittently enjoyable years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He listens to more music than you. And then writes about it.