Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
The Cosmic Dead
Written by: BV on 09/07/2013 16:12:38
Now, The Cosmic Dead are something else. Hailing from Glasgow, this cosmonautic space rock quartet has not only been given tons of praise in recent years, they have also come to be the object of desire for space rock vinyl collectors in recent years with prices going absolutely bonkers when trying to procure one of their, quite rare, physical releases. What makes them so popular since they seem to be in such demand? Well, on their latest endeavor “Inner Sanctum” I’d say it’s the sheer quality of the musicianship coupled with ideas that have the potential to develop further than the ‘usual’ space rock drones wherein repetition is the dogma and that’s what you adhere to.
On the opening track, “Gustav Björnstrand”, there are indeed quite a lot of repetitive and fuzzy drones going on with a seemingly robotic, yet strangely dynamic, bass line dominating the direction of the track. As the fuzzed-out tremolo drones progress and the frantic stereo-panning envelop the entire soundscape, the space around these sounds is quite easily imaginable for those who often find themselves listening to space rock. For those uninitiated however, this listening experience will soon become rather monotonous, if not tedious, and in essence to prolonged for the modern listener.
In quite the opposite trench we find the title track, “Inner Sanctum”, which also holds true to the dogma of repetition but wisely develops continuously in small manners so as to ensure the fixation of the listener. Constantly lurking beneath the repetitive bass-line is a vast multitude of synth-sounds, oscillating echoes and spacy sounds that could best be described as sci-fi sounds vastly reminiscent of an eerie, yet hauntingly epic, soundtrack to a space-flick. As we near the 10 minute mark of the 20 minute track, the guitar(s) are beginning to make an impression with fuzzed-out and reverb-drenched solo work that is quite peculiar in its own right. When one thinks of a guitar-solo it often conjures up imagery of an 80’s poodle-hair guitar-hero shredding on a mountaintop or some other ridiculous image like that. In the case of space rock however, especially that of The Cosmic Dead, the solos are more reminiscent of stretched out canvases of sounds where the melodic lead-line is frantically absent but the sonic onslaught thrives – a mind-melting experience live, and quite peculiar yet intriguing in the album setting, I might add.
Granted, this kind of music really isn’t for everyone – not by a longshot. But to me, and apparently a bunch of other people as well, this is really a marvelous piece of sonic experimentation and despite the fact that all four tracks on the album are long-runners spanning nearly 20 minutes I’d definitely say that the end result is quite successful. Good effort.
Download: Inner Sanctum, The Mass of Betelgeuse
For The Fans Of: Hawkwind, Pyramidal, Acid Mothers Temple, Gnod
Release Date 12.04.2013
Paradigms Records / Who Can You Trust? Records / Dub Ditch Picnic
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