Tue 12th March 2019
From within the same collective of souls that curate the magic of drone and psych and doom of Bong and Blown Out and more, return 11Paranoias, with a vast double-vinyl filling album of spectral vision and wonder.
It is an album that needs space and a clear mind, to allow you the time to follow on their journey. The opening Loss Portal highlights immediately why it is deserving of your attention. Celestially distant vocals temper the guitar heaviness, before the track dusts off, kicks in and blows minds. This is spaced doom done with menace and intent - no peaceful accompaniment to a soulful stargaze, instead the sense of the bends of passing through a black hole. It is an incredibly full and textured sound, your ears and brain struggle to take in all the elements, especially when taking a battery from the culminated whole.
The early tracks move between experimental psychedelia and threatening doom - psych space rock where the controls have gone askew and the vessel you have entered is careering off in wild, violent directions, always away from the comfort of Earth. It's not as drone like you might think - there are occasional jarring doom rhythms that don't smooth the edges as they travel into astral psych through a multitude of synth led noises.
I'm reminded of Bismuth elsewhere (such as on Quantitative Immortalities) - slow and wide eyed, heavy yet airy, long and winding - although when it blasts outwards it is with less blackened doom density, more colourful galaxy splendour. There's a definite sense the album focuses more on the mellower, free form end as it goes on, the doom riff engine no longer driving, the further from the atmosphere, the more it floats.
The early stages are weighted down with doom heaviness, yet charged with the spirit of adventure, and at the acknowledgement of a highly skilled band producing thrilling music once again. The latter merge into one vast trip into the expanse, one that is easy to close off all outside influence to and explore on your own. Together, Asterismal is a wonderful astronomical doom voyage.