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It's been a couple of years since Comets On Fire's critically acclaimed album "Blue Cathedral", a record of classic rock riffs that finally brought them to the indie masses. Their follow-up, however, has fallen further into the past and sucked with it the influences of 70's psychedelia and stoner rock with it's drone tendencies and obscure lyrics.

As it bursts through with the opener "Dogwood Rust" you know you're listening to something a bit different. It's a retro stomp of pure 70's psychedelia, like a jam session recorded by the Grateful Dead, tweaked with urgency that they didn't posses and with the vocal tweaks of The Mars Volta. Where a seven minute track by the latter might verge on self-indulgence, this actually goes somewhere. There's a tune and a foot-tapping beat as its underlying theme. "Jaybird" brings it a little more Jazz influence, the guitar sounding not unlike some of Nels Cline's recent experiments, but there are vocals in the mix with their lyrics of cosmic connotations. About half way through it descends into some kind of space-opera; yelling vocals, Sabbath style riffs, great stuff. To prove they're no one trick pony, "Lucifer's Memory" is a more straight-forward blues number with a gentle piano intro which ends with the urgency seen on Led Zep's more blues-rock tracks. One of the albums highlights is "The Swallow's Eye"; a mix of Pink Floyd guitars and the dirty bass of Sabbath. Even at six minutes long, it doesn't begin to out stay it's welcome, it just pounds along at an ear bashing pace, dragging you kicking and screaming through this time tunnel of musical history.

There's a whole myriad of influences on this album and it's a testament to their skill that it doesn't get bogged down in this. Sure it's very retro album, but there's a forward looking nature to it as well. They haven't just looked back as they lack vision; this is part of their vision.



out of 10

Last updated: 19/04/2018 04:44:54

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