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Six Organs of Admittance Seeks 'Shelter'

For the last 10 years, guitarist Ben Chasny has been recording as Six Organs of Admittance, lacing his passionate and largely instrumental guitar-ragas with shorter passages that hint at a gift for simple, direct melodies.

Chasny's newest Six Organs release, Shelter from the Ash, crops his broad musical vistas just a bit and pushes the pretty aspects of his songs to the fore. Still, friendlier Six Organs of Admittance is still kind of prickly and mysterious, as the title track shows. After just a few bars of the melody played on an acoustic guitar, a distorted electric guitar jumps in, loudly, with brushed cymbals and bass ambling behind.

Chasny's soft voice, almost a murmur, assays a short verse with the haunting line, "Nothing that was needed was everything and more," then repeats the phrase, "Take shelter from the ash." But then the electric guitar roars back, throwing a tantrum in front of the other guitar, the brushes, and the bass. As a bit of unison pops up, it's easy to think, "Ah, maybe a bridge." But the bridge is out, as that screaming guitar comes back for one more keening cry, and the cut ends cold.

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Cecile Cloutier