Melora Creager (founder and leader of Rasputina, the rockinest cellists this side of anywhere) has joined together with faerie artist Amy Brown and music publicist Julie Griner to create a winning compilation that hearkens back to the Brothers Grimmas well as the heyday of goth compilations before Cleopatra Records started spewing out so many ridiculous tribute CDs. Nary a kohl-lined eye can remain dry when reminiscing about 4AD's seminal (and still available) comp and dreamy collective This Mortal Coil. Ethereal, shoegazing fans could take refuge during the '90s with artists like Delirium, Sarah MacLachlan and Dead Can Dance's Lisa Gerard, but they can finally come home again with 12 Tales.
The first track from Rasputina is a gorgeous rock opera nightmare. Vocals howl above a tempestuous din, like a siren directing this storm that after reaching its chaotic crescendo, and then slowly drown in a wash of feedback and strings. Future Bible Heroes follow with a surprising and pleasing synth quietness. Stephen Merrick's (of The Magnetic Fields) always melancholy, strangely vulnerable monotone vocals fit in well here. In fact, Merrick basically does an eerie atmospheric Legendary Pink Dots song much better than the Dots do themselves on the final track of 12 Tales, which is unfortunately more boring than haunting.