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Low reach another high on 'Invisible Way'

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By Brian Krasman
Saturday, March 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

‘The Invisible Way'

Low (Sub Pop)

★★★★

Through two decades of making music, Low continually reinvent and reshape themselves, never making the same album twice, never going to the well more than once.

On Jeff Tweedy-produced 10th album “The Invisible Way,” they morph yet again and turn in one of their quietest, most interesting efforts yet.

The stripped-back music often contains little more than acoustic guitars and drums, and Alan Sparhawk shares lead vocal duties with Mimi Rogers more than ever.

It's an elegant, emotional collection of songs from opener “Plastic Cup,” that imagines time passage through a drink container; “Holy Ghost,” a country-layered song where Parker is at her best; “Clarence White,” a jazzy song that's the loudest one on here; and “On My Own,” a song awash in balladry that eventually lets noise damage into the room.

‘Chelsea Light Moving'

Chelsea Light Moving (Matador)

★★★ ½

Thurston Moore didn't let the dissolution of Sonic Youth (and his marriage to Kim Gordon) put out his creative spark, as he returns with his new band that finds him somewhere between his classic outfit and the black metal supergroup Twilight he recently joined. It's quite an adventure.

Moore's talk singing is firmly in place, and even though he urges, “Love life,” on opener “Heavenmetal,” he lets the fire catch and consume the place on the rest of a record packed with guitar squall, dissonant thrashing, and chaos.

“Sleeping Where I Fall” totally chugs; “Alighted” is doomy and metallic, with the band burying you in noise; “Groovy and Linda” is more like his Sonic Youth days mixed with hippie appeal; and their surprise cover of the Germs' “Communist Eyes” ends the record on a hammer-smashing note.

Chelsea Light Moving play Mr. Smalls Thursday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $16 at www.ticketweb.com.

‘High Priest of Saturn'

High Priest of Saturn (Svart)

★★★ ½

Most Nordic metal is the type that makes weird, impressionable people want to go to war with each other, but that country has more than that to offer extreme music.

Take, for example, smoky stoner metal trio High Priest of Saturn and their killer debut.

The album is four tracks and clocks in at 41 minutes, and they sound like they listened to a lot of late '60s and early '70s doom rock when writing these songs. Merethe Heggset is an understated siren on vocals, and she and her bandmates conjure some great stuff on “Kraken Mare” and “Crawling King Snake.”

Brian Krasman is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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