Pray to the Knife by Black Bouquet

Release date: February 16, 2024
Label: Self-Released

You can research how the term art rock came about and what it means, but what it often boils down to is rock musicians combining different genres that are not so conventional, or have some connection to classical and/or jazz music.

That is somewhere the point where Raleigh, North Carolina six-piece Black Bouquet come in with their debut album Pray to the Knife.

You essentially get quite a combination here from a band that includes viola, guitar, synths, drums, bass and vocals.

No the inclusion of viola doesn’t hark back much to John Cale’s stint with The Velvet Underground (or much of his solo work for that matter), but it does have a strong link to prog rock and some symphonic prog bands combined with The Cure melody structures and some cult bands  like The Appleseed Cast that lean towards emo.

 

Often the problem with such a combination could be either poor execution or an over pretentious concept. Yet, it seems that the band both have chops to carry the complex arrangements they come up with on the album and that they have thought out their concept carefully before they set out to record this album.

As they explain, Pray to the Knife is a story of survival after grief told through the eyes and in the words of troubled lovers. The themes of finding self worth amidst the wreckage of personal traumas, tragedies, and loss are woven through the tracklist…’

And something that could have been overcomplicated and overbearing turns out to be quite an enjoyable art rock experience after all.

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