Tori Amos – Night of Hunters (Deutsche Grammophon)

Tori Finalart

Tori Amos was approached by the record label, Deutch Grammaphon, to create a song cycle which she says “takes place from dusk ‘til dawn.” Songs are much lengthened from previous albums, for instance, the song “Star Whisperer” reaches close to 10 minutes. Unlike her previous album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin, the songs flow into each other seamlessly and are less distinct.

The album opens with a blast of classical instruments in “Shattering Sea.” This song and others have the same sinister feel of songs from Abnormally Attracted to Sin, with lyrics such as, “That is not my Blood on the bedroom floor/ That is not the Glass that I threw before.” This sets the scene for the album’s mythical narrative which follows characters such as Annabelle and the Fire Muse.

The album reintroduces Tori’s daughter, Natashya Hawley, to her audience as the character of Annabelle. She accompanies her mother on songs such as “Snowblind,” “Cactus Practice,” “Job’s Coffin,” and “The Chase,” after her debut on Tori’s Christmas album, Midwinter Graces. Natashya’s voice is not like her mothers, but has a more gravely tone- a sound more mature than for a girl of 11. Though, she is definitely able to hold her own and even mirrors her mother’s signature ethereal vocal style.

In the song “Fearlessness,” we hear a return to Tori’s angst from earlier albums as she growls the line, “Their songs inflamed by doubt/ Fearlessness drowned them out.” “Edge of the Moon,” is notable for its change in pace and melody partway through and is more upbeat than some of the slower, more meditative songs. The title track, “Night of Hunters,” is accompanied by Tori’s niece, Kelsey Dobyns, who plays the Fire Muse.

While the guest vocals on Night of Hunters are a departure from Tori’s previous work, it does not benefit from them so much as detract. However, overall the album promises to be an adventure for the ears on a journey of “an ongoing, modern love story.”



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