Dubbing one’s music “medieval psych” may raise a number of eyebrows, however don’t expect Thibet to recall a time of ingenuous tax systems and dubious dental hygiene while sporting tie-dye tunics. As early as the inaugural Three Songs From Willam Blake, Gregory Vandamme’s then solo project has shown how psychedelia was more than a handful of colourful tropes.
The arrival of Thomas Venegoni, David Davister and Julien Bacquet in September 2013 created Thibet’s current incarnation as a four-piece. After taking the stage in various Belgian venues such as Ancienne Belgique, Le Botanique and Trix, these enlightened gentlemen recorded their first album, Vision & Certitude, out in April 10th, 2014.
Deceitfully sparse and monastic, Vision & Certitude slowly reveals its brilliance. The mesmerising “Vision”, the instrumental opener kidnaps Steve Reich, force-feeding him claviceps purpurea before sending him running down a hill. With the protean “Tear the Veil”, what follows is a progressive awakening moving away from the initial confusion, a slow walk towards spiritual wonders, dew-soaked pastoral meditations ("Tear the Veil") traversed by ominous rave-ups. Every detail is in its right place, from the slide guitar and Julie Prayez’s soprano voice on “Sarabande”, to the sprawling, intertwined synths on “Certitude”, and bears the mark of a constant musical dialogue. In “Carry My Fears”, the chord progression reminds the Cure’s “One Hundred Years”, but while the latter documents a hellish downward spiral, Thibet's song levitates and hovers aboveground – a movement that, despite such titles as “The Burden”, seems to be Thibet’s gift: escaping physical gravity to achieve weightlessness. Even at its more expansive (“Fountain of Joy”), the band keeps up its aether talk, and looks skyward, plunging head-on inside a hall of stained-glass mirrors, slowly building a basilica that turns out to be a granite spaceship.