Elli de Mon – Pagan Blues: Album Review

The primordial blues tradition receives the devout attention of arch blues hellhound Elii de Mon.

Release Date: 9th June 2023

Label:  Area Pirata Records

Format: CD / digital

Elli de Mon is rezophonic guitar, drums, bells, voice and saturated sound: a real one-woman band. ” So goes the PR machine – for once the music living up to, possibly even beyond, the hype – as we’re presented with another volume of mighty primordial blues tradition that follows Elli’s impressive Countin’ The Blues album. Promise low, deliver high – where the retail philosophy comes to play in music promotion.

A musician we’d place somewhere in the same ballpark as another of our highly respected Blues aficionados, The Curse Of K.K.Hammond, her commitment to dark, rustic (and yes – very primordial) blues-based creations pays tribute to those who’ve paved the way while bringing a contemporary and relevant vibe to a musical form whose back story is saturated in authenticity.

The Fall sets the bar high. The initial riff may appear quite simple yet the incantation and layering of instruments into the sonic picture along with the deep pulse and wailing slide soon hypnotises. The evolution into a stomping Panzer of a rhythm is stunning. An apocalyptic Post Rock triumph. After such a thrilling curtain raiser, I Can See You follows in a similar dirty and loud vein. Veering dynamically through a swampy slide guitar-driven piece that might have some moaning about it being in their time of dying, the vocal is delivered with a punky aggression that crosses swords with a weary resignation. Stirring stuff and cleverly positioned to create a WTF moment and ensure you’re hooked for the duration.

In fine old style, an anguished wail surfaces in Catfish Blues as the songs continue their rolling journey. Simple and distorted is the key and the right from the front porch rusticness is much to the fore on Star. By this time, surely the Devil must have heard the call and be leading a seductive sway amongst the acolytes down in the fires of Hell. By contrast, the curve ball that comes in Ticking sees the album take a punky turn in sound and attitude; a new wave take on the blues format.

Pagan Blues – a more apt title for this collection couldn’t be possible – finds closure with another pair of stinging pieces. Siren’s Call drifts into view with a psychedelic drone that gives way to a deep pulse and scrubbed guitar – a shamanic call to arms. Troubled is stark and intimate, but fear not as the slow build fattens out the middle section before the pain eases and the eerie warning of “I am trouble(d), stay out of my way,” is read, learned, marked and inwardly digested. What a way to go…

Here’s the title track:

Elli de Mon online: Website / Facebook / Bandcamp / Instagram / Youtube

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