Australian Rolling Stone

Issue 553 October 1998

The Church
Hologram of Baal
Cooking Vinyl/Festival

Almost a decade on from world wide hit "Under the Milky Way", the Sydney four piece delivers its 13th studio album.

Two improbable events. One, the Church have produced a fresh, imaginative album at this advanced stage of their (reputedly often drug-addled) 18-year career; two, that an album with a name as preposterous as Hologram of Baal could be any good. And yet, both have happened (apparently the working title was even worse - Hologram of Allah, anyone?). Sure, Steve Kilbey's lyrics still have that veneer of wise humour stapled to a crumbling backing of pretentiousness (though only one track, "The Great Machine", is a complete wank). But the Church circa '98 have a graceful push, a groove heralding new life. The rousing opener "Anaesthesia", the lush "Glow Worm" and the rollicking "No Certainty Attached"... these oldies are back with a vengeance.
**** David Nichols

BAAL is also listed in 'Rolling Stone Picks - The critics pick the best albums of the last four months'

Hole - Celebrity Skin
Sparklehorse - Good Morning Spider
The Church - Hologram of Baal
Manic Street Preachers - This is my truth tell me yours
Depeche Mode - The Singles 86-98
Happyland - Welcome to Happyland
Super Furry Animals - Radiator
Lucinda Williams - Car wheels on a gravel road
Billy Bragg & Wilco - Mermaid Avenue

And there's more... a quarter page advertisement for Baal from Festival.

'hologram of baal' the latest release for The Church and their first on Festival records, is an album that combines the best of the past with a new found energy. It ventures into a sonic playground of melodic guitarscapes and ambience, wrapped around infectious beats and bass, splashed with radiotronics and static. All of this is the perfect mask behind which lurks the golden tone of Steve Kilbey, with vocals that dissolve, reappear, weave, dive, resolve and disappear till once more the mask remains.

The Church have made a definitive new album that sparkles and infects...acidic pop...colours and depth...Hologram of Baal...their best yet.

My thanks to Matt for sending that in.
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