Opening an album with a ten minute track is something of a gamble. Esben and the Witch pull it off however with Press Heavenwards. Sounding at first like the great Durrutti Column, with a gentle,treated guitar sound, the rhythm section enter and up the tempo, and we have a Sonic Youth soundscape with a Patti Smith vocal. A strong opening and a good prelude for what follows. Dig Your Fingers In lasts a mere 4:40, and evokes memories of the much lauded Scottish / Dutch band Dog Faced Hermans who were massively influential in Glasgow and Edinburgh in the 1990s.
Those Dreadful Hammers follows and just can't match the heights of its predecessor. Wooden Star is the most chilled track on the album before another big, epic tune in the form of Blood Teaching, which possibly best highlights guitarist Thomas Fisher. Bathed in Light ends proceedings and shows the softer side of Esben and The Witch. A slow and melancholic end to an epic, epic record. A New Nature is destined to become one of those records that folk will still be talking about in decades and it will probably sell as many copies this year as it does every year, for years and years to come.
Esben And The Witch's website can be found here. They are also on Facebook and Twitter.