It took This Mortal Coil 8 years to produce three albums, but Piano Magic - the essential inheritors to the 4AD supergroup throne - have managed to put out new releases at a yearly rate. To date it's been a compelling story but 'Writers Without Homes' is, if anything, a throwback to their 1999 album 'Low Birth Weight'. It exemplifies the 4AD spirit by using sombre, bass-heavy music together with tragic poetry. Opener 'Silence' is typically them - Glen Johnson's quiet introduction is soon swamped by a cavalcade of bass guitars and crashing drums. As is the nature of the Piano Magic approach, guest appearances shape the album. 'Modern Jupiter', the Tarwater contribution, is so typical of the German group's clinical electronica that it could have appeared as one of their own releases were it not for the macabre, articulate lyrics. Yet sometimes the grimness is laid on a bit too thickly; the sad strings and sound of rainfall that makes up most of the 8-minute long 'The Season Is Long' or the obsession with death in the lyrics of 'Certainty' or even Vashti Bunyan's folky quiver on 'Crown To The Lost' and to be honest any notion of light is not on the agenda from here to the end. 'Writers Without Homes' lacks the beautiful poignancy of their World War I-focused album 'Artists Rifles'. It is, however, an articulate gothic portrayal that despite its depressing content attracts further listens. Just remember to hide the razor blades.