The band's name comes from Buddhist terminology used to describe the five senses plus the soul. After attending classes at School of the Flower
, I have to say that my tongue is pensively bitten, my ears are wincing and I have not seen the light. I'm not touched and my soul isn't any more at ease. And the scent of incense is overwhelming.
School of the Flower is folk vagabond Ben Chasny's vision quest, and his senses are working overtime. The album is 40 minutes of ambient, psychedelic folk, rife with spiritual infusions, but its effectiveness is questionable. The tracks are split between instrumentals and vocal-led cuts, and Chasny's voice genuflects with a sweet fragility. The instrumental half of the equation, however, doesn't have a prayer. From the meditative pulses and chants of "Saint Cloud" to "Procession of Cherry Blossom Spirits"' reverential tribal fuzz, School can't find an even altar to stand on.
The title track embodies the disc's spiritual aimlessness, sprawling along for eight-plus minutes of repetitive guitar melodies and haphazard percussion that say a lot but mean little. Your senses will be sorely disappointed.