Rose Kemp Reviews|
Terrorizer Golden Shroud review
'Coming from folk-rock stock, with parents in Steeleye Span, Rose Kemp sidesteps
the hey nonny-nonny by layering on thick that disquieting feeling of the final scene from 'The Wicker Man'. Replete with haunting melodies and capricious mood changes, she is all witch vibes, shrieks and horror poetry. This is bound to be recited in doom circles like it's the go-to-summoning spell when shit has gone past 'Bewitched' and into 'Suspiria' territory. If doom and neofolk could join hands this would be the first dance. Rose is one for stripping a song down and burning it before resurrecting it shaman-style for those full-moon parties that kept medieval Britain on the wrong side of evil. On 'Golden Shroud' she plays sonic prospector, heading into the unknown and casting experimental spells, just to make nights spent with a compendium of dark prayer last an eternity.' - Jonathan Horsley
'these three long tracks all open with ornate multi-tracked madrigals that explode into brutal doom-laden power-trio riffing. Rose Kemp growls, shrieks and howls throughout, like a furious witch hexing her tormentors, demonstrating extraordinary range and control'
Venue Magazine Golden Shroud review
'I got Rose Kemp’s (new) album. F*****g demented haunting horrible droney f*****g nightmare record, I think it’s really going to piss people off but I like it.'
Mike Vennart of Oceansize (on Golden Shroud)
'Nothing this depressing has ever made me so jovial, Rose Kemp has devoured my sense of self-preservation.'
Trebuchet Magazine Golden Shroud review
'the vocals possess a kind of deranged power which leaves you hanging off her every word. ‘Blood Run Red’ opens with what sounds like dark carol singing, while discordant guitars build up around blood-curdling growls ...This is truly evil-sounding stuff, and the atmosphere conjured by just her voice alone is astonishing at times...The third and final piece ‘Lead Coffin’ gives forth an ominous drone while Rose demonstrates more of her vocal prowess. Slow, crushing distortion crawls through the track as ghostly, lyrical journeys are weaved throughout. There’s something undeniably enchanting about this woman, and Golden Shroud is a testament to this and her uniquely captivating music'- 9/10
The Music Fix.co.uk Golden Shroud review
Unsettling and at times slightly scary Kemp has produced an album of substance and depth'
Mass Movement Golden Shroud review
'People like to use that hackneyed phrase, ‘using the voice like an instrument’, but this shit is for real! She swoops from end to end of an extensive range; she squawks and shrieks; she screams out with rock hoarseness like Joplin; and she decorates her phrases with perfectly delivered folk ornaments. She reaches into you with her voice, she grabs you, and she shakes you like a rag doll'
Olithebass Blog review of Golden Shroud
'The closing track “Lead Coffin” is one of the most intense, and memorable, pieces of music i’ve heard all year. The sense of ritual repetition, and the searing octave leaps she makes towards the end of the first section this song are breath-takingly exquisite, if that wasn’t enough the music then takes on the dynamics of something from King Crimson’s “Red” album but with an added decibel warning for those with sensitive ears. It certainly wipes the floor with other music in this genre in terms of power and variety of approach'
Aural Delights Blog Review of Golden Shroud
One listen to Rose Kemp's new album (Golden Shroud) and you get the distinct impression that she isn't like other women. At school I can vividly imagine that, while other girls were busy discussing their hair and clothes and desperately attempting to attract the attention of the popular boys, Kemp would have been sat in the corner, clad in black and avidly devouring the works of Aleister Crowley…etc. Now this may not be true but if her music is anything to go by, this is one impressive and seriously powerful lady!!!
Growing up with famous parents, Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp of Steeleye Span has clearly been a big influence on Kemp. Having spent time singing with her parents' band, her folk pedigree is second to none so, without any prior knowledge of Kemp's music, the first listen of this new album on her own label is a huge shock to the system. Be warned, THIS IS NOT A FOLK RECORD!!! No, this is an exploration, a journey into darkness but not without great beauty.
With only three tracks, one of which is a shade under 10 minutes and two of which are considerably over that, this is less of a collection of songs and works far more in the vein of a classical piece as the tracks flow seamlessly together as movements within the greater whole. Opening track "Black Medick" starts with a jarring "F*ck" and a note perfect multipart choral harmony. This is particularly impressive when considering the album was recorded live as a 3 piece in 10 days. Kemp displays here folk roots on her sleeve in this demented madrigal before it gives way to a monstrously heavy, broken mountain of doom riffing. Kemp wrings the thickest distorted tone that I have ever heard from a Telecaster, summoning belching bursts of darkness from a simple plank!!! From this point on the listener is trapped as the album twists and writhes like the coils of a giant blackened snake through monolithic shards of doomed out heaviness, perfectly beautiful choral majesty and melodic experimentalism.
Kemp's voice is particularly worthy of merit. The strength, range and control that she has in her singing is simply exceptional. She is capable of going from a demonic growl to the most ear piercing falsetto that makes King Diamond sound like Barry Manilow. Like a younger, more restrained and more purposeful Diamanda Galas, Kemp delivers a breathtaking performance of the most incredible power, precision and depth.
A great deal of the so-called "occult" doom bands such as Electric Wizard simply seem cartoon like in comparison. Here Kemp has created a vivid, almost ritualistic piece of music that cuts deep into the pagan psyche. She doesn't need to dress her music up with pictures of heavily breasted girls in Satanic cowls to convey the occult mood. In short Rose Kemp doesn't need to portray an image, her music speaks volumes and is undoubtedly from the heart. Where you know other people will certainly leave their image on the stage it's not beyond the realms of the imagination to assume that Kemp could be found naked dancing widdershins round a fire in a forest with a crown of Rowan twigs on her head!!!
2010 has been an embarrassment of riches where exceptional releases is concerned but Rose Kemp has pitched in with an album so full of emotional depth, incredible mesmeric beauty and stratospheric heaviness that she may well have topped them all. I am hooked, scared and quite possibly a little bit in love.
highlights over the 3 days (included) Rose Kemp who mixes the heaviest sound with the most incredible folk vocals, the whole room was mesmerized by her performance and her shiny dress, if you don’t know her work you should check her out'- Capsule (Roadburn 2009)
'Rose Kemp knows how to drive an aggressive busload of wailing guitars and pounding drums.
Basically she don't take no shit off nobody
(Use Italian New York Mafia Accent) -
'Her voice is heart-stopping and her slowed down, doomed out folksongs are addictive...those just walking by professing to have been pulled in by her siren song. Go Girl!' -
Terrorizer (Roadburn 2009)
'Her Voice possesses the same combination of sensual rapture and existential dread' - The Independent
'The kind of tracks that stop you dead in your tracks..sheer swooping grace in Kemp’s voice' - The Fly
'Prolific collaborator, singing with 3 Bristol bands whilst steering her own solo career' - The Guardian
'The authority she yields using vocals alone is truly mesmerising. Addictive listening' - Rocksound
'Kemp is the kind of singer that bites down and hangs on' - Harp Magazine
UNHOLY MAJESTY IS NAMED ALBUM OF THE YEAR BY GERMAN
ROCK MAGAZINE 'ECLIPSED' - Dec 2008
'Rose is simply remarkable. Her work both on 2007’s A Hand Full of Hurricanes and Unholy Majesty is uniquely powerful. Rose Kemp can be uplifting, passionate, sensual, disturbing, unsettling, invigorating, definitely compelling, and totally absorbing' - Blogcritics
'A fine example of dark, uncompromising, brooding rock scattered with moments of experimentation and backed by an astonishing display of domineering vocal beauty' - LeedsMusicScene
'I haven't seen her live yet, but by God, I want to. This album yields more and more with every listen.. it messes with pigeonholes and remains accessible' - 17 Seconds Blog
'Produced by Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro and Amplifier collaborator Chris Sheldon, Unholy Majesty consolidates Kemp’s myriad influences while also developing its own personality. An inventive and energetic guitarist, Kemp’s excellent playing combines throughout with Sue Lord’s mournful violin, James King’s muscular drums, Joe Garcia’s bass, and a host of vintage synths and organs operated by Dan Greensmith to give the record a distinctive tone and ambience' - Wears The Trousers
Unholy Majesty’s 10 tracks are fat raindrops awaiting the listener’s choice of dress or flesh. It’s prettiness in slow attack...‘Milky White’ defies its title. It’s jarring, white swirled with black, an attention grabber preparing for the sensational, 9 minute finale that is ‘The Unholy’
- Wicked Rock
'Undoubtedly the 'find' of the weekend...
her set sparkles with a beautifully dark, intensely personal strain of songwriting that brims with both passion and angst in an uncommonly natural way'
- Drowned in Sound
'Dark and sinister, yet alluring and beautiful'
Rose Kemp Interviews
PunkRockTheory.com Interview 15/08/09
Pennyblackmusic Interview 21/09/08
Wears The Trousers Interview 04/09/08