For The Furies’ Prayer:
Gothic Beauty (Carolee)
Aepril Schaile’s prophetic, dangerous, mad-priestess delivery needs a listener with a strong constitution, prepared for her to call out her ghosts, slit old wounds open and demand answers. Schaile is both the executioner and the sacrifice, with a strong strident voice and piano to match, more visceral than an angry Sinead O’Connor and more psychic than Nick Cave on Judgement Day. From time to time the songs yield to softer balladry, cushioned by lighter backing vocals or bittersweet violin, but all told it’s good to hear such power and depth in the piano and such bold expression often denied to women vocalists. Best taken in doses rather than all at once, and play it to raise energy, not for your dinner guests.
Morbid Outlook (reviewer Andrew Fenner)
This album could justifiably be titled “Wrath of the Witch”, dealing, as it seems, with the twisted indignation of disenfranchised, murdered, tortured, downtrodden mystics, occultists, shamen, gods and goddesses, etc. refusing to stay dead and coming back from across the centuries with a terrific tumult of dark wings and in-your-face triumph. Many of the songs involve a spare, piano dominated arrangement featuring the leading lady more in the role of a vindictive, exhorting sorceress than a singer… though she definitely sings as well.
Other numbers include bass and drums with organ…even some bowed strings and trumpet. My only qualm, on the musical side, is that most of the songs have the same general format… proceeding from a slow, chantlike opening and rising to an intense, prolonged wail (though there is some variation), and even the melody lines seem very similar. However, this tends to amplify the sense of being at some kind of dark mass or demon-conjuring in the temple or forest of an ancient high priestess; thus I am not so sure it is a detraction, just as a tried-and-true gospel formula might work again and again for the congregation of an on-fire Baptist minister. No Baptist church service could be like this group live though, since Aepril Schaile is also into gothic bellydance. The effect must be stunning. read more…
Dark Realms Magazine (reviewer Camille Ambrose, issue 26):
Aepril Schaile and the Judgement put forth a bold progressive effort with their CD. The Furies’ Prayer has a unique avant-garde Burlesque quality to it. Impassioned vocal and piano melodies burst forth from sultry a capella whispers to acheive a dramatic effect. Tracks like “This Place to Die” and “Flight from the Murder Tree” begin as haunting and bittersweet ballads before developing into more powerful songs. Many of the tracks are solely comprised of Schaile’s theatrical vocals and piano although various compositions are accented by drums and symphonic string accompaniment. The Furies’ Prayer is a truly original collection of dramatic and poetic passions. Camille Ambrose
Reviewer: Cynthia (CD Baby)
There is no other CD out there like The Furies’ Prayer – I know, I’ve looked. Schaile’s music is full of passion and drama; it has a dark intensity that is bleak but somehow empowering. The CD plays like a story, and each song builds upon the next. Deeply intimate, the music resonates through the layers of the mundane and wraps around those emotions that we cannot control, but which rule us all. Exquisite!
On Collected Sound, a site “celebrating independent musicians” Review by Anna Maria Stjarnell:
Aepril Schaile scares me. The intensity on her and her band’s debut album is frightening and persuasive. She makes a lot of noise at her piano and reminds me of Diamanda Galas… Schaile’s singing is gorgeous and the addition of a violin makes it even better.
and on CD Baby: Scary but compelling bare-bones music. Aepril has made a brilliant and terrifying record. –Anna Stjarnell ….read more
Maine Musicians Exchange: review by Wendy Deschenes/Tea Gerumburg:
“The Furies’ Prayer” is not a ‘main stream’ release, and doesn’t contain poppy lyrics and the music is not your typical fare. It is, however, a work of great musical genius with mesmerizingly dark tones, and haunting vocals….All the music was written and arranged by the very gifted and talented Aepril Schaile. In my opinion she definitely has what it takes to go into theatrical production. You can truly envision seeing these songs transformed into a ceremoniously dark drama…read more
“Don’t be scared, little ones. Prepare to be stunned by the exceptional music on this album, also awed by the shock…. she steps into the room, talons bared and grows heated and choking in the desolate, morbid tune until she reminds me of a storyteller getting far too involved, ending up snipping off all the little childrens’ heads with her trusty, rusty garden shears…snip, snip, snip: all gone! Steeped in old traditions, with rolling piano, this is the kind of thing Nick Cave would love to be able to do…” 1/8/07
For demo: You Murder Me
“…Aepril scares me. There’s a hurricane trapped inside that willowy frame, and if ‘Flight From’ tells you anything it’s that there really is a missing link between Patti Smith and Diamanda Galas and that link is Aepril. There is no Tori Amos to this variant of pain at the piano. The sounds crouch beneath the skeletal cello and prostrate themselves before the scathing vocals. This is bitter and wild, but as it develops a stunning piece of atmospheric piano rolls in like a cross between early Alien soundtrack and Johnny Cash’s take on ‘Hurt’ and only a cretin would ignore this.” 8/1/06
“…she’s a damn fine piano player armed with a voice that has a distinctly creepy quality to it, like Grace Slick with black lipstick…watching one of her live shows–the woman is like a black hole personified, sucking all attention toward her until it’s like there’s nothing else in the room, nothing else in the city, nothing else in the world that you can ever remember noticing.”
The Portland Phoenix:
“…sprawling dark songs with elements of gothic pop and classical music…Picture the illegitimate offspring of PJ Harvey and Nick Cave raised in an abandoned concert hall…”
“turbulent destructo-cabaret …Aepril’s odes to our demise aren’t so much mournful as they are a maelstrom of energy that has no “right” or “wrong”, like the recent tsunami…”