- As one aflame laid bare by desire
- Given (1. the waterfall 2. the illuminating gas)
- entr’acte [the garden awaits us]
- Tell me you’ve taken another
- entr’acte [the carnival barker]
- The apotheosis
- Your one wish
- The green box
- Denouement / denouncement
- The passage
Whether this music is “gothic,” “ethereal,” or “ambient” is in the eyes of the beholder. The truth is that BlackTape creates incredibly passionate music incorporating all these genres, yet transcending them with striking musical poignancy and lyrical insight.
“As one aflame laid bare by desire proves that melancholy waters run deep. Perhaps not as gloomy, and certainly not as maudlin and angry, as some previous releases, angst as art is still the source of fuel for Rosenthal and crew’s perpetual dark flame. In fact, the art aspect is intensified as Sam laces threads from dadaist Marcel Duchamp’s artworks and literature into Black tape’s gauzey fabric. Think modern Gothic chamber music with some ambient/electronic overtones.” Read the full Ambientrance review of Aflame
“A lot of As One Aflame is damn near brilliant in its artistic reach and dramatic scope. With otherworldly electronics, lone violin and weeping flute all draped around the solemn whispers of Rosenthal (and the evocative voices of Julianna Towns and Oscar Herrera), black tape provides a most ghostly encounter. At times, Black Tape echoes the romantic indulgence of This Mortal Coil, with haunting female vocals and ornate neoclassicism juxtaposed against an ominous, frozen landscape of strings and keyboards; Rosenthal’s art achieves both an eerie sonic calm and an intense degree of emotional extravagance. As one aflame can’t be dismissed as a misguided attempt to invigorate the well-perserved corpse of the darkwave. This stuff is quite guided and very much alive.”
All Music Guide:
For this album, Lucian Casselman is out and A Chaos of Desire-era vocalist Juliana Towns is back. While the lineup returns to the more collective sense of performances from past albums, core performers Sam Rosenthal and Oscar Herrera, along with flautist Lisa Feuer (who adds a fine new dimension to the general instrumental approach), still have Vicki Richards on violin on various tracks, but Mera Roberts only plays on one song while other guests perform oboe, harpsichord and other instruments. After the marvelous Remnants of a Deeper Purity, As One Aflame Laid Bare by Desire lacks a little something in comparison. The trademark lushness of performance and instrumentation remains, and both Herrera and Towns, as well as Rosenthal, discharge their vocal duties as well as always (aside from the opening title track, which Rosenthal sings somewhat awkwardly). Still, too many pieces veer toward the tastefully anonymous at points, while the lyrical focus on Marcel Duchamp’s work “The Bride Stripped Bare,” though intriguing, almost turns the album into a running essay rather than a series of songs. This said, there is still a number of strong, focused pieces, including the Apollo-era Eno evocative “The Apotheosis” and “Russia” (which quotes the same Prokofiev line as Sting’s “Russians,” but much less obnoxiously). “The Green Box,” meanwhile, contains the classic sense of brooding electronic menace and beauty, heightened by Richards’ violin, which has so often defined Black Tape’s most successful work.