Formed in sunny San Diego, the Black Heart Procession write the kind of gloomy, downcast dirges you'd expect from less hospitable climates. Their sixth release is their first as a duo, and it arrives just in time for the dimming days of autumn.
As if playing in a pile of leaves, Six finds pleasure in decay. The solemn piano tinkle of "When You Finish Me" begins things on an oddly touching note, though it's the spooky oohing and the rough bass line of "Wasteland" that offer the first real hook.
Singer Pall Jenkins's tombstone croon recounts a twisted Orpheus-like journey into the underworld to take one last bit of revenge on a thoughtless lover; "Witching Stone" finds Jenkins and multi-instrumentalist Tobias Nathaniel galloping through portentous landscapes of poppy fields and lightning-streaked skies, a welcome bright spot of melody that's still imbued with bad hoodoo. Although titles like "Suicide" and "Drugs" may seem a touch overt, the songs are not overwrought clichés ? the latter is even a sparse ballad in the vein of Leonard Cohen.