Helen Money
(Arriving Angels)
Crank this to 9 of 11
|    Editor's Pick
Cello, Doom
Sounds Like:
Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Sun O))), Ides of Gemini
Once in a while we come across a musician who just impresses the hell out of us as they are totally devoted to their art.  Think Mike Patton, Frank Zappa, or Diamanda Galas. Are they geniuses in their craft, many think so. Their music is so out there that people either love them or just not interested, either way; they break musical barriers and are very difficult to compare their sound against other musicians. We would like to welcome cellist, Helen Honey to this tier of individualistic artists.

A brief glimpse into the works of Helen Money will help guide your interest into this fascinating, dark world. Alison Chesley is an acclaimed cellist who makes music under the name of Helen Money, she has released three albums to date; 2007’s Self Titled, 2009’s In Tune and 2013’s Arriving Angels. She is a one-person show and her music is dramatic, dark, passionate and beautiful. The only instrument used on these albums is the cello with an occasional guest musician here and there. It’s amazing to hear the sounds emanating from the cello, it’s actually awe-inspiring. It’s sometimes doomy or sad and other times uplifting.

On her newest release, Arriving Angels, she is back and better than ever. The opening track "Rift" starts off as doom ambiance, similar to SunnO))) or Electric Wizard. You may think, how the hell can we are compare her talents to these heavy hitters? Just listen and you’ll understand. At the 2:15 mark the track breaks out into a rhythm that somewhat sounds like Tools’ 46and2. It’s quite a remarkable sound for a cello; it kind of has a grinding guitar feedback quality. This transitions right into "Upsetter" and this one is hauntingly good with its repetitive nature. "Beautiful Friends" is a one of the standout cuts as she is joined by Jason Roeder, drummer of the famed Neurosis. The percussion adds some welcome variety and follows here mood very well. This track tends to shift itself between atmospheric sounds and doom-like arrangements, it’s very original.

The faced-paced drumming in the beginning of "Radio Recorders" is intense and will have you fired up. Not knowing where the song is going it just drops into this lonely and feeling of melancholy, we are than brought back to the drumming from the beginning to end, it’s a track that will pick you up and bring you down. The calm aura of "Midwestern Nights Dream" will lower your blood pressure a few points and this will flawlessly go right into "Arriving Angels". This one has a hauntingly atmospheric vibe, we’re not sure what it is, but parts of this track have a Danzig quality. Another standout track is "Shrapnel," so turn this one up a bit to get the full effect. The drums are powerful and the cello is so distinct and captivating here. This leads us to the last track "Runout" and man is this one trippy. The echoed effect on the cello along with the precise drumming and the addition of a piano makes this one so mesmerizing. It will take you away and nest within your conscious.

Helen Money is a true visionary; her work is very original and authentic. The music has a lasting quality and will appeal to a broad audience of fans who frequent the doom or ambiance genres. It may not be an album you play on an everyday basis, but when you do, you realize how special it really is. We would love to know if anyone has seen her in concert because we have heard her shows are truly like nothing else. - 8/7/2014

Standout Tracks: Beautiful Friends, Runout, Shrapnel
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