Eternal Ghosts (Part Three of a Trilogy)


1998 third album by Graham Bowers (1943-2015). "All good things must come to an end, but so must all things bad and frightening. If Graham Bowers really envisioned his first trilogy of works as a take on his real life, then he must have been both sad and relieved when it was over. Built like an epic saga, things kept growing darker and more claustrophobic with each volume, the arc of tension refusing to bend down again until the very last second. If Of Mary's Blood (RWCD 001CD, 1995) was an astute and uniquely personal collage-world of harmony and naked sound and Transgression (RWCD 002CD, 1997) its bizarre and freaked-out mirror image, then Eternal Ghosts (1998) is a brutal exorcism. Metal hits metal in the first few seconds, intensifying and gaining volume until your ears hurt, but just before you turn the dial down, the whip stops for a second, dropping the listener into a stream of unwanted memories and mournful longings. The album is more coherent than its predecessors, yet simultaneously more heavy-hearted and unreal. Gray drones whisper and murmur in the back for almost the entire record's duration, interspersed by clustered choirs, textured cymbalpads, and weird biomechanical structures, which may come as an aural equivalent to Bowers's background as an industrial designer. Toward the end, timpani rumble and almost inaudible flutes blow out of tune toward a grand finale, which refuses to materialize. Bowers has entered the realms of the untouchable with this album and dedicated it to 'flesh and blood, body and spirit' as well as 'worlds without end.' The fact that all source material stems from 'organic' instruments seems to imply that this is by no means just a bad dream or a daydreamed fantasy -- but that it could happen to you, too. Particularly noteworthy is the last segment of Eternal Ghosts, when Peter Gallagher's translucent and heavenly grand piano suddenly comes shining through a sunflood cloud and closes the chapter in an unexpectedly hopeful mood. It is the sole concrete moment of a journey full of metaphors but by no means the only magical one. Things haven't always been easy for Bowers since then, but it was clear that the tracks were now leading into the light, his train leaving the tunnel of his fearful visions" --Tobias Fischer. CD accompanied by a fold-out booklet containing the associated artworks painted by Graham Bowers.