Hills – Master Sleeps

Welcome to the second release of these Swedish psychedelic/space rockers. After their previously released self-titled album, published by Sulatron Records, Hills put this one behind their homeland’s Transubstans Records. After creating some strong foundational ground with their debut, Hills keep building with Master Sleeps- a sophomore album that chugs out as a continuation to what has started with Hills. Master Sleeps shows off evident improvement in every way, starting from its actual work to production. The band has survived the barriers they carried on the debut and with much more self-confidence, I would say, entered the creating process for Master Sleeps.

Under an aegis of musical genres which include krautrock, space and psychedelic rock and spreading further to touches of jazz and the grimness of black metal, Hills can easily be stamped as a complex act. Ambient passages are not unknown, the band also reveals their aspirations towards orientalism as well as post-rock threaded through an organ-led progressive rock matrix. LSD beneficiaries and all who feel that way will not stay denied for a dose of pure psychedelia, the only complaint goes to the album’s duration. 36 minutes, that is how long this sonic adventure takes. Velvet Underground / Can fans will voraciously swallow the six pieces the album is made of.

A bit more expressed oriental flavour in Bring Me Sand is of possible interest for all those hippies stuck in the post-dadaist era of psychedelic rock, while the opening Rise Again sucessfully dwells among walls of krautrock. The repetitive patterns that adorn classic German krautrock acts are present throughout the record.

Claras Vaggvisa matches the previous statement – the band goes deeper to (post-rock) ambientalism, declaring the employment of a “mystified” organ-based sound. If this particular song shows off the band’s slowness, then The Vessel shows the opposite, grabbing out fuzzy drumwork and psychedelic led guitar solos. The title track comes up as the lengthiest and could be described like Can’s Tago Mago axially threaded through War’s self-titled album. Death Shall Come closes the recording, but you don’t get a feeling that the album is over. This track is a hearty finisher, dark and droning, but rather hypnotizing.

With Master Sleeps, Hills continue their explorations of the vast and unknown, discovering more of space and other multidimensional sounds. This album is not only an addition in their growing opus, but also a vertebra that will certainly hold everything that will come after this release. To all psychedelicers and krautrockers out there, I proudly claim: to the top of the Hills!

Tracklist:

1. Rise Again (7:08)
2. Bring Me Sand (6:34)
3. Claras Vaggvisa (3:22)
4. The Vessel (4:03)
5. Master Sleeps (9:02)
6. Death Shall Come (6:10)

Line-up:

* Hanna – drums, organ, xylophone, percussion, voices
* Kalle – guitars, bass, organ, flute, vocals, keyboards
* Pelle – guitars

Links:

http://www.myspace.com/hhillss

Nikola Savić is a prog enthusiast, blogger and author, in addition to being the founder of Prog Sphere, Progify, ProgLyrics and the ongoing Progstravaganza compilation series.
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