The shade of a forgotten grave, the call of a starling unseen, and resurrected secrets of the old gods are but a few of the many strange and wonderful things that dwell within the music of Grey Stone in The Wood.
Dark Leaves, the current solo project of Patrick Aston, blends the starker sounds of English folk music with ambient drones and shadowy atmospherics. The sound here is both dense and stoic, much like a remote, forested patch of landscape. Similarly, it feels as thought it was formed outside of time, like it could have fit in just as well during the ’70s, ’90s or now.
The record is at its strongest when the ominous side of Dark Leaves’ acoustic sound takes hold. Tracks like “Four Winds” brood with a raw intensity, feeling as though they were composed straight from the artist’s very nerves. Although, it must be said that the soft waves of keyboards on songs like “The Turning” help to add a deeper mystical, dreamlike quality to the music. It’s like you’re gazing into the world of Aston through a lens that is slightly clouded by a hallucinogenic haze.
This mix of spectral, loamy folk and dark psychedelia brings to mind the works of In Gowan Ring, Stone Breath and Fern Knight. If you count yourself a fan of these, as well as artists like Comus, Espers and Keith Christmas, then Grey Stones in The Wood will get many rotations in your home. You can get yourself this album here.