Shivering breaths, an unbearably tense riff, a forceful death rattle: Father Murphy’s latest album opens with the Italian trio on typically austere form. Opener How We Ended up with Feelings of Guilt’s sonic sparseness only accentuates its creepiness, leaving plenty of pockets into which the listener can project drama; as it peters out on ritualistic drums, we’re aflame in the wicker man and it’s only track one.
There’s impressive diversity to what follows: It Is Funny, It Is Restful, Both Came Quickly’s punishing industrial din amplifies the nightmare, whereas closer Don’t Let Yourself Be Hurt This Time is almost lullaby-like (baby-waking clatter aside). At the dark heart of the record is In Praise of Our Doubts, its epic torment – wails, chants, Satan’s own orchestra – somehow skirting round pomposity. That such regular flecks of humour do little to dampen the sinister presiding atmosphere remains Father Murphy’s most potent spell.