CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL – Is Satan Real?

Kozmik Artifactz 2016

CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL - Is Satan Real?

CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL
– Is Satan Real?

Get stoned and rejoice: cult band of a multicolored stripe deliver their debut gospel.

A melange of non-vintage English psych collectives, this “new religious movement who seek to free mankind from their material possessions and unify all living beings into a singular cosmic whole” may redefine a perception of cult as fringe group of kindred spirits because there’s nothing niche about the Nottingham septet. A process of tongue-in-cheek soul-searching the ensemble embarked upon looks so enticing that followers should flow in flocks whether the group dig deep with the funky chant of the title track or shoot high with the lunatic lullaby-like “Movements In The Sky” which deliberately twine strains of the ’70s heavy prog around a current crop of stoner rock tropes.

It’s impossible not to be sucked into such a vortex from the moment the riff of “Mountain Heart” has unfolded for a theatrical dirge to dry out and take bluesy spiritual to the higher ground, where male and female voices roll on the organ wave towards eternal bliss, until the epic “Evil In Your Eye” turns the trip outside in and brings dance-trance and a fugue to the table. The heady polyphony is mesmerizing yet, when drowned by a chthonic “Black Slug” whose hellish chasm houses a spaced-out buzz, the chorale is also sinister, and although “Answers In Your Soul” is trying to soothe the burn with the acoustic tangle of Bill Fisher’s guitar lace and Loz Stone’s drums, it’s “Watch It Grow” that offers a steady groove for a mantra and an uplift.

A probability of peace of mind entering one’s skull once this record is over is debatable, yet an urge to spin it again and again for transcendental effect leaves is not. Hilariously monumental work.

*****

November 1, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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