Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Bombaim - Titans

In the beginning, there was darkness. 

The first rumblings of creation starts off with a bass, so thick and heavy it has the power to condense gas and energy into matter.

A cosmic fire of guitar feedback screeches through the primordial blackness, searing the newly formed planet.  Light erupting across the freshly surging mass.

The beat of this new entity is jazz, complex, life-giving.

Titans isn't so much a new album.  It's a new world. 

Doom, sludge, stoner, psychedelic, progressive.  These are but continents on this new planet, ever-changing, interlocking components of the shifting Terran plate.   With Teutonic force, these plates move and collide across the Continental Divide, cross-pollinating the emerging lifeforms with their varied essences.  Heavy riffs bring about new heart beats.  Psychedelic explorations expand the developing minds.  Stoner grooves add movement and balance.  Doom lends gravity.  Life emerges with passion, power, and intent.

And in this new world, the world of Black Bombaim, Ricardo Miranda, Paulo Gonçalves and Tojo Rodrigues, truly are the titans, wielding the power of ancient Gods to create and destroy. They can effect with terrific beauty or decimate with the ugliness of the dark. 

Over the 4 sides of this double LP, Black Bombain have created a truly epic masterpiece of experimental heaviness.  Each side is composed of one 10-20 minute song named in a way that is incomprehensible to me.  I have no idea what that album is supposed to mean, just how it makes me feel.  Mostly instrumental, I was destined to ignore this album.   Instrumental stoner bores me.  Instrumental doom bores me even more.

Not here. 

Every freaked out guitar solo captivates me.  Every change of riff is crushing.  Every bass line is heavier than the one that preceded.  Every beat transmutes between styles.  Vocals (when they appear) are ugly accompaniments.  An organ is a light of beauty.   Synthesizers radiate depth. 

The acoustic breakdown 2/3 way through side one steals my breath.  The free form jazz bass that follows is stunning.  When the Heavy crushes back down on me I'm devastated.  The dynamic packed into this one album side tops entire catalogs of lesser artists.

The jazz beat and thickness of bass that starts Side 2 are the pulse of space as the celestial organ brings the grandeur of the cosmos.  As the organ fades, like a dawning sun, the resumption of the bass is frightening.  The crash of the heavy terrifying.  The psychedelic mix intoxicating.

The groove of Side 3 is stoned-out infectious but it's the screech of the saxophone that is inspired, playing out like the heaviest Pink Floyd song never created. 

Side 4 cruises through the already created soundscapes like an effective period.  Or an exclamation point.

Each moment of each song needs to be listened to.  Not heard.  Listened to.  Each instrument is intent.  Each second focused.  And each moment liable to shift and change as dramatically as the surface of our newly created world. 

Black Bombaim have created a remarkable album. The first true epic, progressive masterpiece of psychedelic doom that I've heard.  One against which all following epics will be judged.

Let the titans be praised.



dan said...

An interesting review, but I disagree. Compared to their previous output, this is terrible. Hugely ill-advised saxophone blaring away. Synthesisers are just lazy, a far too easy way to sound spacey, a huge disappointment.
Check out "Saturdays & space travel", far superior.
For instrumental greatness, Tia Carrera or Earthless should change your mind and everyone loves Karma to Burn surely. All bands are better once the ego shuts up and lets those that can rock get on with the rocking. Instrumental for ever :)

The Ripple Effect said...

Funny Dan, I dug the saxophone. Unexpected for me. I was working out while playing this and it gave me a good jolt.

Again, instrumental stoner/doom isn't really my thing, but this album kept me captivated all the way through.

dan said...

I'm probably being a little harsh, but I loved their previous stuff, heavy, long and trippy - fantastic.
Don't get me wrong, I love the likes of Elder and Wo Fat (possible European tour next year - yay)but I find quite a lot of lyrics are just trite and uninteresting.
I would heartily recommend earlier Black Bombaim though, wonderful stuff.

The Ripple Effect said...

You talked me into it! Gotta admit, I never heard their earlier stuff. When the last album came in it went out to one of our reviewers and I never had time to listen.

But this one got me interested, so I'll check em out.


dan said...

Cool, I think you'll like it. "Saturdays and space travel" is a great album, 2 songs, side a and side b, great riffs, nice and long too. Stick a comment here after you've listened, will be interested to hear what you think after "Titans".

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