ANCHOR AND BURDEN – Kosmonautik Pilgrimage

MoonJune 2023

Kosmonautik Pilgrimage

Getting physical, heavy avant-gardists gear up for another spaced-out anabasis and see it through to the end.

Lately, Markus Reuter’s discography has become labyrinthine enough to provide his followers with a chance of a fresh discovery every now and then, and the chances are they didn’t encounter a record from this eam masterminded by the German artist. Having released five albums in 2021-2022, the quartet’s music slipped under many a radar simply because there was no tangible media to transmit it from, which is why “Kosmonautik Pilgrimage” is supposed to be a game-changer – and the game’s afoot from the disc’s first cut. Who’s a winner? The people that find fun in the foursome’s arresting skronk.

As cinematic and sinister as this piece’s title may suggest, opener “Corridors Of Silent Screams” sculpts its eerie presence from a randomly pulsing soundscape which will seem to close in on the listener once percussive chaos is turned into a tentative order and Bernhard Wöstheinrich’s electronic passages start to support two Touch guitars, the interplay between Reuter’s higher frequencies and Alexander Paul Dowerk’s bottom tones spiced up by Asaf Sirkis’ drums until wild wails and wondrous waves blissfully are one and the same. That’s why there’s seamless segueing into “Cerebral Transfixations” where increasingly complex and nervous, albeit streamlined, strum and rhythm feel so easy on the ear, yet never feel hectic, landing on a nigh-on orchestral sweep of strings, before the buzzing lines of “Hissing Skin” get nailed to a latent groove – for the beat to grow in scope, to move “The Core Is Organic” from a drill ground to the dancefloor to factory floor and to take metal clang for a field day. And that’s why the mirror vibes of “Shivering Walls” bring the bleak flow back to the album’s claustrophobic beginning – only to reflect the harmonic, if menacing, fragility of the collective’s edifice.

However, “Self Assembly” must disrupt the threatening atmosphere and introduce a spectral riff that’s bound to dissolve in silence but, instead, is pushed to the fore to reign supreme. So while the initial drops of “Secret Laboratory” should be fleshed out to simultaneously twang and shimmer, the return of a riff for “Royal Augmentation” signals the appearance of robust, stereo-spanning and crystal-clear solemnity on the scene, and the Stygian jive of “Crown Hive” rolls the platter to a gloriously swirling, uplifting finale. The quartet’s pilgrimage is apparently far from its end, though, meaning their no-mean game can resume any day soon.


February 17, 2023

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