Psychic Equalizer 2021
International team attempt to harness the hidden power of our world.
There was a wonderful intensity to this ensemble’s 2019 album – the tension that couldn’t be maintained for long and had to be toned down on their next record… or so it seemed. Indeed, the foursome’s follow-up EP features an acoustic reading of “Lonely Soul” from "The Sixth Extinction" as a finale, yet the “Revealed I” starts with something completely different, something fierce, if triumphant. The riff-laden, effects-spiced, fractured panorama of “Unveiled” is further torn by India Hooi’s idiosyncratic delivery and cooled with Hugo Selles’ piano splashes, which lead the heavy number beyond the prog pale towards magnificent serenity of “Summer Clouds”: the translucent, solemn ballad whose chamber beauty will gradually spread wings and soar.
But while “Away” flutters above Carlos Barragán’s six-string lace into folk-colored skies, its crystalline passion is revealing a familiar flame, one that this collective thrive on. Here’s the reason why “Lost In The Universe” can’t be marred by impressive shredding – the orchestral sway and the sweep of Camerata Coral de la Universidad de Cantabria’s voices take symphonic metal off the ground, too. Still, “The Astronomers” – the opening tune of the second chapter of the “Revealed” dilogy – floats into focus languidly, albeit menacingly, replacing strummed caress with neurotic rhythm and releasing sweet poison into the ether on the harmonies-honeyed choruses before lapsing into operatic abyss to reach a seismic dirge and restore the idyll. Only the genuine sadness comes not with the dramatic “Something Hurts” but on the touching finale “Lament” which draws on jazz and traditional motifs and drowns your psyche in a wishing well.
Yet the tectonic-hefty, techno-kissed swirl of “Destination Zero” forbids any attempt of escapism by wrapping an elegant, infectious waltz around the listener’s ears – the opposite of what the dystopian assault unleashed by “The Last Of Humankind” does to form an iron oratorio and mix it with retro-foxtrot for tragedy to emerge… Emerge and get blessed with the celestial compromise behind “You Won’t Have My Faith” as Adrian Ubiaga’s roaring organ, India’s soaring vocals, Hugo’s ivories and Carlos’ sharp lines elevate this hymn to the skies. There’s groove and grandeur vying for attention and weaving a slightly incongruous tapestry: had the group stayed on the peaceful, rather than belligerent, course, the mini-album would feel truly fantastic, although as a tentative map for their next move, these EPs – working wonders separately and creating a riveting whole – are almost perfect.