The searing operatic voice of Nika Roza Danilova, aka Zola Jesus, still stands alone in the left-field arena, as it has done since the launch of her 2009 debut album, ‘The Spoils’. The long stretch since the release of 2017’s ‘Okovi’ is explained by a bout of writer’s block, which she banished after reaching out to renowned producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Jóhann Jóhannsson) and drumming percussionist Matt Chamberlain, who’s worked with the likes of Bowie, Dylan and Fiona Apple. A wise move, on this evidence.

Chamberlain’s dense percussive patterns come right to the fore on standouts like ‘The Fall’. The barrage of blinding, glacial electronics and the wall of sound, fury and pain you hear when Danilova lets rip in her epic, dystopian style are just breathtaking. Elsewhere though, on downtempo numbers like the elegiac ‘Desire’, Dunn’s deft production lets that extraordinary voice of hers soar high, mighty and free.

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