Label: Souterrain Transmissions Records Release date: 23/08/10 Link: Official Site Buy: Amazon Haunted. Graceful. Deep. Genuine. Dark, at times. And the list goes on. There are no adjectives enough to describe American Goth-priestess Zola Jesus‘ work. A gentle warning before we start: Stridulum II might shake your heart and bones. Till late. Blame it on Nika Roza Danilova. Her strong and mature voice floats like a relentless ghost, magnified by the brand new musical direction the 21-year-old is now embracing: Less lo-fi, more melodic, with a hint of 80’s/industrial rhythms, Stridulum II has got some real standouts (‘Manifest Destiny’ for example, gives chills and shivers for a long time) and soulful statements (‘I Can’t Stand’) to warm your heart. As always with Zola Jesus (see her work with LA Vampires, or more obvious, with Former Ghosts) you agree to embark on a highly intense journey you didn’t even plan. Here the emotional roller coaster includes: Love (‘Night’), tears (‘Tower’), fears, hope, contemplation (‘Run Me Out’) and, eventually, light (bonus track ‘Lightsick’ and its amazing piano). Epic, yes. But never too much. Impressive: Another word to add to the list. Photobucket