A bloody dark and troubling album with clandestine powers to bewitch and draw the listener ever deeper into its languorous spell. That's what Richard Skelton has achieved with his third The Inward Circles album And Right Lines Limit and Close All Bodies.
I gave this album some dedicated time back in April when it was released but never felt entirely comfortable writing about it. I sensed its enormity and scale unfolding with each listen but then I read the excellent review Joseph Burnett penned for The Quietus, which managed to depict its dangerous majesty far more eloquently than I ever could, so I left it to fester away in the darkest recesses of my unconscious mind. Since then, each time I listened again, hoping its devilish charms would expose a new startling truth previously overlooked, I've grown increasingly enthralled. Reading that review again recently, a grave self-realisation came into focus. As Burnett said:
If one thinks of a decomposing cadaver, such degradation happens generally away from the prying eyes of humankind, in tombs, bogs or pits, so there is intrinsically an aspect to And Right Lines that evolves at an evocative, imaginary level, the sombre strokes of Skelton’s synthesizers and transmogrified sound effects existing in a realm of grim introspection and lightless imagination.
It's obvious now, the effect this album was having on me was a result of my own imagination, life experiences and (sometimes) bleak outlook on life; it was glaring back at me with each listen. This new concept made things much deeper. I could warn you that it's not an easy listen but your experience will invariably differ dramatically from my own. Just go easy.