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***BACK IN STOCK!!! Listeners have come to expect a lot from Secret Chiefs 3. For Book of Souls, second in the band’s mega-trilogy (first being Book of Horizons, 2004), they demand nothing less than a vertigo-inducing follow-up. True to expectation, Book of Souls: Folio A is a full-length album densely packed with musical skyscrapers. Over a decade in the making, it’s Secret Chiefs 3’s most elaborate work yet. Following the seven-band schemata laid out in Book of Horizons, Book of Souls thoroughly establishes the depth of Secret Chiefs 3’s journey into lost musical possibilities. With productions based in studios in the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, the UK and France over the last eleven years, the band’s leader Trey Spruance enlisted a small army of musicians—or actually not so small, since the orchestral tasks demanded by the music seem to be so unlimited. But familiar names in the Secret Chiefs 3 canon form the backbone of the recording band: Timb Harris, Ches Smith, Shahzad Ismaily, Anonymous 13, Danny Heifetz, William Winant, with live-band initiates Matt Lebofsky, Kenny Grohowski and Toby Driver adding extra life. This album is the kind of titanic, almost Faustian undertaking that is uniquely appropriate to Secret Chiefs 3, and for all that pomp it’s easy to forget that everything is DIY to the core. Book of Souls: Folio A is a fully organic production. Everything is honed with love in one of the last hermetically sealed laboratories, a place of limitless fascination and dreams, where the simplest motifs have the freedom to radiate into complexities that are beyond description, or to refine down to a state of simple essence. Enchanted by what can be unlocked in modern mediums by applying ancient processes, Secret Chiefs 3 remain blissfully ignorant of current musical fashions, as always. The band has played over 300 shows in 32 countries in the last few years, building upon a slew of other records they’ve released in the meantime, but without doubt, Book of Souls is definitely the one everyone’s been waiting for.
#1 Balance of the 19
By Secret Chiefs 3: Ishraqiyun
#2 Nova IHVH
#3 Potestas Clavium
By Secret Chiefs 3: Electromagnetic Azoth
#4 Post-Identity Hour (AMS World Newscorp)
#5 Personae: Halloween
#6 Utopian Weekly Update (HVHI Public Access)
#7 Scorched Earth Saturnalia
By Secret Chiefs 3: FORMS
#8 Full Spectrum Anamnesis
#10 Barzakh ID Markers (AIO Radio Narcissus)
#11 La Chanson de Jacky
By Secret Chiefs 3: Traditionalists
#12 Toy Soldier's Frontline Report (Faust Journal, DodecSMA Corp)