I have to say here that I became an instant fan of these Glasgow psychspace rockers since discovery of their self-titled debut (review here), an album that ended as one of the tops of 2011. With the growing enthusiasm towards the band, I am greeting their new album with big expectations. After all the good things happened to the band, having received good critics and being chosen as one of the acts to play the Roadburn 2013, the Glasgow based band is growing to something that could possibly be considered as the lighthouse of the genre.
Their newest outing The Exalted King is massive. Seriously. Made of three slabs, clocking over 70 minutes, it’s a monster space/psychedelic rock record that explains the term “improvisation” in its original, some would agree primitive form. There is not much to be said about the tracks structure, as it doesn’t follow any predefined forms of musicianship, but is based on “simplicity” of improvisation.
The album kicks off with a self-titled tune that keeps expanding all the time for its something more than 34 minutes. Though, it may sound repetitive, it doesn’t lack for dynamics and keeps you present. If The Cosmic Dead was rather raw, this tape (yes, this one is available as a cassette too) turns the things towards more hypnotizing sound, it’s less heavy than its predecessor what probably enlarges its psychedelic side even more. It is a jammy space rock, but you should be careful when taking this categorization. You certainly may hear bits of other contemporaries such Oresund Space Collective, Tia Carrera, White Hills or Seven That Spells, but the thing with The Cosmic Dead is their success to balance and cover these bits wrapped up with their own touch.
Ambient beginning of Anatta, with somewhat dronish/experimental sound reminiscent of Faust, shows a different side of Glaswegians what makes me wondering how this song was recorded. The atmospheric (read: spooky) sound is broken around the third minute with drums kicking in, getting back on the spacey track. Closing Anaphora takes some time to open, after plenty of space effects take the lead. If something could be referred as ambient psychedelia, then this song (album) stand out as an example for that.
The Cosmic Dead confirmed what was started with the debut. This band doesn’t make any compromises, their vision is more than clear and with a new album out they truly deserve all the attention. And they have it.
01. The Exalted King (34:07)
02. Anatta (15:30)
03. Anaphora (20:40)
* Omar Aborida – bass, chants
* Lewish Cook – synths, chants
* Julian Dicken – drums, samples
* James T McKay – guitar, chants