This site too slow? Try a mirror  --  Subscribe to the Guide  --  Find artist:
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

Rhea's Obsession


Country of origin:

Canada

Type of music generally:

Ethereal Gothic, with some traditional and world music elements

Status:

Most recent release, re: initiation/the mudra mixes (remixes, 2001); most recent release of new material, Between Earth & Sky (2000)

See also:

Wikipedia's entry on Rhea's Obsession

Comparisons:

Dead Can Dance, Enigma, Land of the Blind, The Changelings, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Cranes, Curve

Covers/own material:

Own & covers

General comments:

This Vancouver-based duo features the classically-trained vocals of Sue Hutton and the crunchy, scraping guitar theatrics of her husband Jim Field. Sue has a beautiful, clear voice, influenced mostly by Celtic folk stylings; but when she wants to, she can add a bit of razor-tipped fire to her musings. I wouldn't call her "delicate"—as in the wispy meandering of Karen Peris (Innocence Mission) or fluttery, like Anneli Drecker (Bel Canto). In fact, her sound is mostly free of the Romantic, twee affectations of many "ethereal" female singers. It's refreshing, in this context. Sue's vision tends toward the darker side of feminine power; images of nature ("Tsunami"; "Death by Moonlight") prevail in the self-penned lyrics. What really sets this band apart is Jim Fields' guitar. He achieves atmosphere and depth using fairly fierce sounding effects and delays. His one instrumental piece sounds like gamelan. The other instruments—discreet keyboards, and prominent percussion, also move this work into harder-edged territory. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Recommended first album:

Initiation

Recordings:


Initiation

Release info:

1996—Spider Records, PO Box 6625 Station "A", Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5W 1X4—SPCD 4444

Availability:

Canada

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of ethereal/Gothic world-flavoured music

Group members:

Sue Hutton—vocals, hand percussion (bodhrá, doumbek, rain stick, djembe), sheet metal, chains
Jim Field—guitars, electric bases, bowed upright bass, percussion (bodhrá, chimes) sheet metal

Guest artists:

Dave Klotz—keyboards, additional arrangement
Ed Hanley—tablas
Anthony Seaberg—doumbek
Chris Cawthray—drums, rik, djembe, doumbek

Produced by:

Rhea's Obsession and Rob Sanzo

Comments:

I used to listen to this CD quite a bit but I'm afraid it's been languishing in my CD collection lately. However it is a recommended listen for anyone who likes Dead Can Dance; if you ever thought that Dead Can Dance needed more electric guitar, this is the group for you! And I agree with Craig, Jim's guitar work really stands out. They put on a pretty decent live show and manage to recreate the atmospheric sound of their album very well live. I mentioned that to Jim and he said that they were careful to not record anything in the studio that they couldn't reproduce in a live setting. (kamesan@geocities.com)

There's an Aleister Crowley poem, describing some sex-and-nature magic that's set to music, along with traditional Celtic folk songs. Another surprise is a light-hearted, straightforward reading of Sheila Chandra's "Ocean". What I like about this album is that it crosses into the dreamy, Cocteau Twins/Dead Can Dance region without resorting to any of their tricks. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)


Between Earth & Sky

Release info:

2000

Availability:

Unknown

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans of ethereal/Gothic world-flavoured music

Group members:

Sue Hutton, Jim Field

Comments:

In the case of Canadians Rhea's Obsession, beauty comes in the form of Sue Hutton's voice. She rises above the clamor and tumult of Jim Field's guitar sounds like a valkyrie, augmenting her classical tone Middle-Eastern and Bulgarian vocal flourishes. Fields has streamlined his guitar pyrotechnics in this release. The wild experimentation of the debut Initiation has been replaced by a near metallic sound that's very accessible. Hutton's lyrics mostly deal with women who walk the edge of madness, a state that gives her characters profound and terrifying visions. "She's Psycho-crazy, but she draws you in—" is one lyric; another admonishes a "dreaming blade [to] cut it all away," referring to disturbing visions. Her overripe imagery seeks a tranquil space, where humanity and nature coexist in harmony; the crashing wave of sound and rhythm destroy this space, dragging her and the listening back to reality. Beauty hides in the beast in this release; it should appeal to fans of the Banshees, the Cranes, and Curve. (ethereal_lad@livejournal.com)

Why the ads?
the Ectophiles' Guide: * Guide Home* What's new* * Alphabetical* Genre* Commentator* Location* Random artist* Search* Contact the editors* Credits

DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2015-06-14 15:47:45.
Please request permission if you wish to
reproduce any of the comments in the
Ectophiles' Guide in any context.

The Ectophiles' Guide to Good Music is copyright © 1996-2004 by the editors.
Individual comments are copyright © by their authors.
Web site design and programming copyright © 1998-2004 usrbin design + programming.
All rights reserved.