Wed 4th January 2017
Here's a nice surprise to start the year, and a bigger one in realising that this is Vinnum Sabbathi's debut album, past releases dealt out in splits and singles only. The Mexicans have been consistent in their tack for a few years now, both in quality and method of operation, namely space rock with space travel samples, alongside Swedes Yuri Gagarin on the highest pedestal for this particular niche.
That formula is of course repeated across Gravity Works, but it is never tiresome. While this is, at its core, stoner rock instrumentalism, the steady flow of scientific excerpts provide a voice throughout. Second track Early Works' eleven minutes basically soundtracks talk of the golden age of the space race between the US and USSR, and when the riffs get heavy eight minutes in, it is hard not to find it all ridiculously engaging, elevated to the sky, swept away with visions of the stars.
The title track is heavier still, deathly doom from the off, providing a welcome differentiation, a darker vibe. Loop Quantum Gravity's discourse of scientific advancement through the moon landings and space exploration, and the potential for unification of global fascination and good through that advance, is mapped by a ten minute bass rumble. The Probe B, and its black hole discussions, bring it all together perfectly, the music a fantastical galaxy of stoner melodicism and doom riffs, to end the album on a true high.
Many of the samples are culled direct from NASA's archives, lending an authentic aura to the album. But this is evident anyhow, this is no play-around tag-along on "cool" sci fi imagery; Vinnum Sabbathi are obviously in thrall to astronomy, and create this art to honour and accompany their passion. It is infectious. And Gravity Works is brilliant.