The Metallic Index by Fenella

Release date: November 11, 2022
Label: Fire Records

There’s always a connection to talk your loved one who had been gone for a very long time. The combination between talking to the dead and setting it to music can either work or it’ll tank. Well, the combination works.

For Jane Weaver, Pete Philipson and Raz Ullah they bring those themes of the two missing pieces of the puzzle as a whole with their latest release, The Metallic Index. Based on the true story set in the 1920s of a Nurse who had psychic powers, and could tell who was lying and telling the truth, it becomes a hypnotic earbud listen.

Listen to The Metallic Index, which is a follow-up to their 2019 debut Fehérlófia (a re-imagining score to the 1981 Hungarian cult-classic animated film), takes you into an opened door with surreal atmospheres that Fenella has unleashed by telling the story of Stella Cranshaw’s mystic powers coming to life from beginning to end.

I was attracted to the feminist aspects of the story”, Jane described to Johnny Sharp in issue 137 from PROG Magazine, “especially the fact that she felt her powers waned when she got married, I wanted to give this exceptional young woman a voice”.

The music itself has a claustrophobic sound wave experience. You feel as if you’re inside the Nurse’s mind, revealing what kind of strange tricks she will pull underneath her sleeve. And we as listeners, are along for the ride.

 

Taking the roots of Ennio Morricone, CAN, Jack Nitzsche’s film score to the 1970 controversial cult classic Performance, Goblin, Tom Newman’s Faerie Symphony, and the Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser, The Metallic Index is one of those albums that keeps you guessing to find out more about the story of Stella Crenshaw.

The title-track centres upon a ride into the unknown with Weaver’s vocalisations, electro trip-hop drum beats, bossa-nova groove, blaring bass synths, and smooth rain dropping effects while the alarming ‘Lilacs Illuminate in Indigo’ goes into a calm turned intense heartbeat, thumping like crazy with morse code textures coming out of the woodwork.

The ‘Hexagonal Table’ sets up the Nurse’s powers springing to life as her spirituality pours out of the hospital room before ‘Shadow Apparatus’ extends a Carousel with harmonising beauty and a Terry Riley-sque motif that springs to mind, A Rainbow in Curved Air.

‘After the Visions’ stays into Andy Votel’s universe as if he lends Fenella a helping hand by giving the trio a chance to walk into the worlds of Zdeněk Liška’s music of The Cremator, Luboš Fišer’s Morgiana, a watery trip down the Ohr years of Alpha Centauri and the Zeit textures of Tangerine Dream, followed by Klaus Schulze’s Irrlicht that uses a string section in the oceanic cities of time.

‘Are They with You (The Final Chapter)’ is closing up the book of Crenshaw’s life as she enters her elder years, reflecting the memories she had as a Nurse whilst her powers wane. Fenella turn this electronic-folky atmosphere to say their farewells to Stella as if they were letting her know how much of an amazing job she’d done, now it is time for her to rest.

This here is a story done right with Ullah, Philipson, and Weaver at top of their game. And we got to experience Crenshaw’s amazing story that’ll inspire the next generation in the Paranormal universe to follow in her footsteps beyond The Metallic Index.

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