Easter liturgies, Phil Keaggy and a hint of Floyd all mash up in this brief, highly listenable collection.
Time: 33 mins
While I cannot promise that The Project (Michael Glen Bell and Duane Arnold) listened to Wish You Were Here while writing this, I would be surprised if it were not an influence.
Not that this sounds like Pink Floyd, but during the feature track, there are several parts that sound like the younger sibling of “Welcome to the Machine” – a faint pulsing, a slight wind-like ambience and particularly, that single acoustic guitar chord, strummed with intent and left to hang in the air.
The track in question occurs three times in only 33 minutes of music, so it is a good thing that it sounds so great. It bookends the collection as an instrumental and also appears with words as “Hypachoi.”
This is a follow-up to an album about Christian Martyrs and the website is still largely about that release, but it still gives an idea of the sound and vision.
Mystic Chapel is inspired by the Easter Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, which is both a help and a hindrance. It is a help, because it gives the disc an identity, purpose and focus; a hindrance, because sometimes it feels as if the words are adjusted prose, fitted into the tunes with an editor’s crowbar.
But the tunes are strong, the music beautifully clear, and the packaging (glossy, with lyrics and a background story for reflection) is created artistically and with care.
Phil Keaggy (unmistakeably) played some of the guitars, Thom Daugherty of The Elms engineered it and added guitars, and the project had help and encouragement from Jennifer Knapp, Glen Kaiser and John Michael Talbot.
Names like this show that this is a highly professional production with spiritual integrity, and an appeal to the wider Church.
It may be short, but it easily plays on repeat without outstaying its welcome.