Jarboe & Helen Money: Jarboe & Helen Money

Art rock tag team conjure hymns to the darkness

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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

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.