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does a band come around unleashing not 1, but 2 stellar albums within 18
months time. Black Space Riders have ridden their way into that category with
their latest album Refugeeum. I was a huge fan of their last album D:REI as
evidenced by my reviewhere,
which was originally published on The Sludgelord blog. Due to technical
difficulties it was lost to the airwaves. Later I put it up at my short lived blog
that I just had no time to keep up with. This go round the Ripples can be felt
success last year, and my complete lack of knowledge of a new release until the day it
came through the promo pipeline, I was somewhat blindsided and devoid of
expectation for a brand spanking new Black Space Riders album. What I did know however,
is that I was instantly excited.
definitely has the same spacey atmospheric haze, combined with the same heavy
groove oriented rhythms of D:REI and, really, all their previous releases.
Perhaps a little more on the creepily enchanting side of the spectrum,
Refugeeum maintains a completely esoteric vibe throughout its 60 minute
latent energy presents itself lurking between psychedelic meanderings and hypnotic vocal chants. The mildly distorted rhythm and bass lines
palpitate like an industrial revolution transforms a nation. Gargantuan riffs
linger in the background while a cryptic theme washes away your mind.
through one of the album highlights "Run to the Plains", a 10+ minute
monumental journey to the bowels of the brain, slowly builds at an epic pace
with intermittent jabs of monster riffage and vocal assaults. Seamless
layers of atmospheric harmony, tribal groove and metallic rhythm collide to
create a sonic avalanche of emotion.
album is pretty dismal from a thematic context. The album cover is depressing,
the song titles and lyrics suggest hopelessness, yet the music remains
intriguing on all fronts. It's a bit more diverse than D:REI and at this point
it's tough to tell whether I like Refugeeum over D:REI or not.D:REI was a masterpiece which made my top 20
albums last year, and is still available in the Heavy Ripples store
on a super heavy 2LP vinyl gatefold edition with CD. While you're in there you
might as well pick up "Light is the New Black" also on 2LP Gatefold.
That said, with more listens I may find myself gravitating towards Refugeeum,
as the progression is evident, the sophistication is further developed, and the
range is magnificent. Refugeeum is a terrific release and will no doubt be
receiving critical acclaim from a wide range of audiences. Be sure to pick this
up as it is released on July 24th of this year. More details on theirwebsite.
Take a listen the their discography on bandcamp if you are new to the band.