The perfect aural fit to a crime that has remained unsolved since 1948…
Review by Jason Guest
Release date: 24 July 2015
It’s always a good start to the day when an album such as this appears in an inbox burgeoning with countless promos varying as much in quality as they do diversity. Wading through it all can be a chore (I know, oh woe is me, yadda yadda yadda…) but when an album of such ethereal beauty like Harmonic Cross’s debut It Is Finished appears, the sun burns with a spectral hue and the impending diurnal sojourn takes on a mystical and mysterious depth… or something like that.
Anyway, true crime events have long been the stuff of inspiration for many a literary, theatrical, cinematic, and musical piece. For this album it’s the turn of “The Somerton Man” (also known as “The Taman Shud Case”), the case being that of an unidentified, well-dressed man found dead along a seawall on Somerton beach in Adelaide, South Australia in the early hours of 1 December 1948. The corpse was never identified and the case remains unsolved. The only clue was a scrap of paper cut out from a book (The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam) reading “tamám shud” (meaning “finished” in Persian) found sewn into a hidden pocket of his pants. The book itself – from an edition that has no record of ever being printed – is later found and contains several hand-written ciphers that, like the death, remain unsolved. Shrouded in the mysterious and the spiritual, it’s an intriguing story, one for which the band’s ambient and atmospheric rendition is the perfect aural fit. Beautiful, haunting, meditative, and curiously consoling, if there’s a film on the horizon, Harmonic Cross has already provided an excellent soundtrack.
8 out of 10
- TAMAN SHUD