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Although The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly is billed as Le Loup's debut, it's technically a solo effort by frontman Sam Simkoff, who recorded these tracks in his bedroom during a lengthy period of post-college anxiety. As a result, fans of Le Loup's live performances will find this album to be markedly different, from the number of instruments used to the softer dynamics of each track. The Nations' Millennium General Assembly largely relies on synths, banjo, drum machines, and Simkoff's vocals, all of which are stacked together to create a sort of Sufjan-approved computer symphony. It's a one-man show that uses repetition to its advantage, with each song slowly growing from a ripple to a sonic swell. And while such material sounds best in a live setting, where Le Loup's seven members can collectively flesh out each song, this collection of bedroom recordings is nevertheless eccentric and engaging. Simkoff flits between the earthy sounds of his banjo and the programmed, experimental bleeps of his keyboards, linking the two camps together with lyrics inspired by Dante's Inferno. There are cantos, recollections of dreams, and odes to the heavens, all delivered by a choir of multi-tracked Simkoffs in a manner that's both grand and intimate. In fact, intimacy may be the album's strongest suit, seeing as the band's expanded lineup may never be able to reach such a quiet dynamic again. The Nations' Millennium General Assembly may serve as a precursor to Le Loup's live, bombastic sound, but it's also an enjoyable look at the band's frontman, his considerable capabilities, and the initial melodies that set everything in motion. ~ Andrew Leahey