The Black Heart Rebellion: People When You See The Smoke...

Belgium’s expansive psychonauts blaze a new path

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There’s no coming back for the Black Heart Rebellion, so far have they spun out on their own evolutionary arc that even the ritualistic minimalism of 2013’s Har Nevo sounds conventional by comparison.

The Belgians’ third album builds on the tribal drums of its predecessor, boldly performed again by Tim Bryon. They vie for supremacy with the tension within the enraptured, compelling exhortations of vocalist Pieter Uyttenhove, a possessed cleric whose preaching occasionally descends into rants.

Entrancing from first to last, People… demands surrender, weaving snakelike into the psyche on the pulsing rhythm of Body Breakers, before blossoming on Flower Bone Ornaments, within which the Eastern flavour of the record’s sparse instrumentation flourishes.

Sparsity is the key to the album’s magic, containing untold profundities on Near The Fire For Bricks. Its haunting dual vocals are laden with solemnity. TBHR offer escape through their supernatural gaze, a rite of rapture that fizzes with potency.