If taken by the United Bible Studies bug, the scarce limitation of their back catalogue can be endlessly frustrating. However, Golden Pavilion recently upgraded the lost “Spoicke” album to a delightful vinyl version. Whilst only three years old at the time of its second pressing, the actual recording took place four years before that again, and by accident, our first contact with it, overshadowed the then new “Rosary Bleeds” LP with which it was twinned. Largely instrumental, the four movements that comprise it are propelled forward by piano, harp, guitars, whistle, electronics and percussion. Like a sweeping soundtrack to a motion picture “Black Matthew I” acts as a portal to the forgotten past, cherished memories, hopes and dreams, not all of which were ever fulfilled. Richard Moult and Áine O’Dwyer loom large on “Hazlehurst Requiem” with stirring piano keys and harp strokes. The wider collective phases in and out as the music swells and transforms. Wordless vocals lift the hymn to the heavens as the climax draws near. Bible Studies at their best, for us, pepper such longer suites with shorter ones. In this case, “The Shore That Fears The Sea” and “Black Matthew II” provide that contrast. The former, is a shorter adaptation of the earlier title track, with David’s deep tone commanding the helm. The latter space of our second Matthew is circled by the higher register of Michael Tanner with Áine again close by…

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