Black Science – “An Echo Through the Eyes of Forever” (Dark Matter International 2012)

It’s always a welcome thing to hear new, modern, refreshingly original, balls to the wall psychedelic space rock. An Echo Through the Eyes of Forever is the third album from Seattle’s Black Science, and as far as that description in the previous sentence goes, it delivers in spades. It follow’s 2008’s A New Mastery of Light and 2010’s Cosmodemonic & Beyond, expanding on the ideas and sounds on those albums by pushing the envelope even further with some truly scorching music that takes the listener into the far flung realms of another dimension.

Beginning with the idea that modern chaos magick is akin to the science of consciousness manipulation, Black Science infuses their music with occult and cutting edge scientific references. Structured and often quite catchy songs are shrouded in layers of effects. At times it gets very disorienting, yet there’s always this solid song in the midst of it, always giving the listener something to hold onto. Opening cut First Contact Manual is reminiscent of something Earthling Society might do, although I only make this comparison as a point of reference, for Black Science do have their own unique sound. A shivering haze of noise runs through the twisty guitar passages while affected vocals harmonize, singing of making first contact with another galaxy’s hypnotic drug. The guitar solo at the end is a wild tripfest of sonic instrumentalism. Contrasting this is the bouncy pop nature of Easy Prey, which nonetheless still takes the listener into stranger territory with those disorienting effects, especially in the latter half, which dissolves into a liquid cosmic soundscape. Third track Anywhere rocks harder, and piles the hallucinogenic layers on even deeper than before, but two of the most disorienting tracks on the album are the 8-minute mysterious and druggy The State of the Art, a dreamy slow burner that builds to a crazed, chaotic conclusion, and the pulsing rocker, Hardcore UFO’s, which sounds a bit like Smashing Pumpkins meets Flying Saucer Attack in the Twilight Zone. The crunchy, beat-oriented Exegisis leads us into the final nearly 16-minute voyage Our Sentence Is Up. This tour de force begins with a nearly metallic explosion of pounding rhythms and wailing, crazily riffing guitars, but eventually dives headfirst into a lengthy (supposedly psilocybin fuelled) jam that twists and turns upon itself as liquid synths bubble through it and John Ritzmann from the Paratopia podcast intones cosmic secrets into the ears of the listener. Terrific stuff!

An Echo Through the Eyes of Forever, released on the summer solstice of 2012, is supposedly “the first audio component of a ritual whose complete design will be revealed on the winter solstice” (which, incidentally, is the day that follows the end of the Mayan Long Count, supposedly the end of the world, or the beginning of a new age). What form that complete design will take, considering the band has apparently and sadly gone their separate ways, can only be speculated. In the meantime, we have this fantastic, freaky, tripped out album to rock to. And rock to it we will! Highly recommended!

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Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

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