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ěresund Space Collective - Ode to a Black Hole CD (album) cover

ODE TO A BLACK HOLE

ěresund Space Collective

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.12 | 13 ratings

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Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
4 stars The ěresund Space Collective have been putting out a steady stream of superb jamming and fully improvised space-rock discs for over ten years now, occasionally reaching true greatness with some particular standout releases (2015's `Different Creatures' and the chilled triple live set `Out in Space' instantly come to mind). But in addition to their frequently guitar dominated and synth driven albums, it's the fascinating sonic diversions and more experimental works from the revolving door group of musicians that frequently make up the project that leave a lasting impression, and `Ode to the Black Hole' is yet another unexpected but very welcome change of direction. Described by the group as a `long doom drone track', `Ode...' sounds like no other ěSC release to date, a deeply atmospheric and heavy monolithic storm of a soundtrack that is sure to equally intrigue and challenge their loyal fanbase.

One continuous fifty-two minute instrumental sound collage (indexed into two tracks on the CD and spread over two sides of vinyl for the LP release) laced with an ever-present danger and howling desolation, the lengthy and obvious electric guitar soloing that frequently features heavily on their numerous other albums is mostly absent, instead replaced by dirty, brooding feedback drenched drawn-out stoner rock guitar distortion. The slightest of rising and falling synth washes drift in and out as if sighing winds, bleeding electronics seep in amongst darkly ambient thrumming reverberations, and the most fleeting of dusty Eastern flavours permeate slow-burn mantra-like grumbling guitar ruminations. A murky pattering of plodding drums slowly beat down on sanity, eerie Theremin wisps spiral with fragility and ethereal electric violin strains weep mournfully, all twisting as one in an increasingly howling vacuum. Mud-thick murmuring bass slithers amongst the shadows and jagged guitars become frequently snarling as everything together culminates with hair-pulling intensity.

Some less patient listeners will find it all a bit too vague and repetitive, and newcomers to the band should perhaps try elsewhere in their ever-growing back-catalogue first, but those who appreciate darker types of space-rock music, slower- paced stoner rock and even droning ambient styles will find this hugely immersive and deeply rewarding. Calling to mind in the briefest moments everything from early Pink Floyd, traces of the Krautrock-era Tangerine Dream albums, Agitation Free, Ash Ra Tempel and even early Nineties/`Moonloop'-era Porcupine Tree here and there, `Ode to a Black Hole' is a stark, stoned and heavy meditation that is one of the most subtle, hypnotic and distinctive releases from the ěresund Space Collective to date.

Four stars.

(Special thanks to Prog Archives member Samuel C (Meltdowner) who picked me up a CD copy at one of the ěSC concerts and even got keyboard player Scott Heller (Dr Space) to sign it for me before sending it all the way over here to Australia! Deeply appreciated, gentlemen!)

Aussie-Byrd-Brother | 4/5 |

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