Archive for February 22, 2013

The Snails – s/t (Action Records 2012) / The Basements – “Im Dead” (Lost In Tyme Records 2012)

Greece and Italy (or the Mediterraenean in general) seems to be a hotbed for Freakbeat / Garage revival bands since the wave was started by The Fuzztones and The Cynics and a few other US acts who also have toured that part of the world extensively since the early 80’s, and are very popular down there. So what we have is a genre, which in my younger LSD trippin’ art student days, was a favorite of mine, owning The Fuzztones Lysergic Emanations CD, a handful of Bevis Frond CDs (all this bought at the Wild Mind shop in Oslo, R.I.P.) and several “Nuggets” comps (I now have many of the expanded box sets). In the late 80s I was a big fan of The Doors as well. All personal history aside, I’ll get to the point: if you like listening to the same stuff over and over, the snarling vocals, the fuzz guitars, the Farfisa organ, fine, then these two Greek-beat (a new genre?) platters are for you. You probably have all 12″ and 10″ and 7″‘es by The Fuzztones already stashed away with your incense holder, lava lamp, etc., somewhere from last time you had a session at the turntable.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore the 60’s stuff, the innocence of the era (at least the innocent part these bands try to recapture), I have just “moved on”. I sometimes play LA Woman by The Doors, dig out a Yardbirds or Who album or skip through a “Best of The Small Faces” for old time’s sake, delve into bands from the 60’s on occasion, sometimes a quick scan thru of my expensive “Nuggets” boxes once in a blue moon. But doing all this over again, reviving it, it’s fun but it cannot be a valid lifestyle unless you are totally dedicated only to Freakbeat or Garage, which I am not, I am afraid. I love Third Bardo’s I’m Five Years Ahead of My Time and The Snails do it justice. There’s loads of great harmonies to be found on the Basements CD, it’s all nicely done. But revivalism of this genre in 2013 is best left to the original 80’s wave of bands. Its not bad at all, if you dig the Fuzztones in a hardcore way, please do pick up these two CDs, you’ll think they are fuckin’ great. But if you, like me, feel like the 60’s were more than just Strawberry Alarm Clock or The Seeds and frankly, burned out on drugs and Nuggets albums by the time you were 25, explored new worlds, maybe went a little insane on harder drugs and evolved into a reptile-like humanoid, and found you preferred other genres than 60’s revivalism, don’t bother. To me, who likes all kinds of rock music made between 1962-2013, I feel a kinship to the Freakbeat and Garage revival, though I let it be an obscure part of my musical hereditary makeup, although these bands are both very good at what they do… But it’s just not my cuppa… so to speak. Onward to Fuzz!

For more information on The Snails visit
For more information on The Basements visit

Reviewed by Christian Eric Mumford

Temple Of The Smoke – “The Lost Art Of Twilight” (Self-Released CD, Cosmic Eye/Musicbazz, LP 2013)

The Lost Art Of Twilight is the second album from Belgrade, Serbia based Temple Of The Smoke, the follow-up to their 2011 debut, Against Human Race. That album was a powerhouse set of heavy space rock (my favorite being the blistering Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator), psychedelic reggae, stoner rock, and mellow psych rock.

Kingdom Of Apples opens the set and is a meditative, melodic, yet steadily rocking space rock tune. I like the cavernous, valium-like guitar licks, and the music gets increasingly intense at the end. Moth Of Time begins similarly but at an even more mellow, drifting pace, and includes whispery vocals. Then around the two minute mark the band start to rock out, before quickly returning to the opening theme. And then… BAM!… they lay into a metallic stoner dirge, before abruptly shifting gears again, this time launching into an almost prog-like pattern, before returning once again to the stoner metal. Then for the finale they go into a wild and wooly freeform freakout. Wow, this is a pretty schizophrenic tune. I’m intrigued, but not sure if all the manic shifting of gears really works.

Starfall is a short piece, at only two minutes. But it’s a real smack across the chops, being a hellfire prog-infused hard rock blast that’s tight as a knot and makes its case succinctly in such a compact span. Out, Into The Crimson Night! is an inspired space-prog instrumental with heavenly keys and some thematic bits that bring to mind 70s sci-fi television themes. Later in the track the band start to rock harder, with a prog flavored 70s hard rock feel. This is my favorite track of the set so far. Street Of Shifting Signs is next and opens with multi-layered freaky alien electronics, and then launches into a steady space rocking segment that’s like a combination of Ozric Tentacles and early Korai Orom, but with an added classic prog rock edge. Later the music transitions to spaced out Dub/Reggae, that deftly switches back to the earlier theme, bringing the track to a close. Another smoker! Lots of variety but it all flows and gels nicely.

Beyond The Wall Of Sleep starts off as a drifting chill-out spacey piece that rocks harder as the music progresses. There’s some cool wah’d psych guitar, 60s styled organ, and proggy keys that makes for an interesting combination. I like it but it’s another track that keeps shifting gears while struggling to make the transitions seamless. Temple Of The Smoke (the song title named after the band) is the final track, kicking off with a dark and doomey yet deep space introductory segment. The bass and drums create a sense of foreboding, surrounded by wailing and bubbling alien synths. Then the guitar starts a slow emotional solo which gives the music a more spaced out psychedelic tone, and I dig the efx’d robotic vocals. Overall this track is about creating mood, atmosphere, and varying levels of tension, and the band get downright space metallic in the final minute. This is a fine example of Temple Of The Smoke covering a variety of thematic ground that flows and holds together well.

I listened to both Temple Of The Smoke albums back-to-back several times in the weeks leading up to writing this review and taken together I think this is a very promising and talented band on the contemporary space rock scene. Both albums feature stylistic variety, and anyone could be forgiven for thinking they cover a bit too much ground. Personally, I like the variety, though on The Lost Art Of Twilight the band handle it with varying degrees of success. But these guys are still damn good.

For more information visit
Email at
Visit the Cosmic Eye Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

No Man’s Land – “Unprotected” (Anazitisi Records 2013, CD/LP)

Unprotected is the latest album from Athens, Greece based No Man’s Land, and is the follow-up to their 2010 released The Drowning Desert. The band are the quintet of Vassilis Bas Athanassisdes on guitars and vocals, Chris Silver Triantafillopolous on drums, Nick Petavrides on bass, George Pavlis on trumpet and fluegelhorn, and George Sirganides on flute, plus guests on percussion and cello.

Moribundo Part II opens the set and is a steady paced rocker with a very interesting combination of liquid psych guitar and melodic trumpet. Flute soon joins in, and overall the track is a nice flowing trippy instrumental with brief passionate chanting vocalizations, and I like the melodic yet jamming psych-jazz feel that the trumpet injects. The 13 minute Flame is next. There are vocals near the beginning and end, but this too is a mostly instrumental track. The drums lay down a tribal rhythmic pulse and the music has a bit of a Middle Eastern feel. We get more of the psych guitar, flute and trumpet that I enjoyed on Moribundo. And while the trumpet unavoidably adds a jazz flavor, this track is more overtly psychedelic, and the more I listen to this album the trumpet (and I guess fluegelhorn) not only fits in well but gives No Man’s Land a somewhat unique sound. Other treats are peppered along the route, like a lusciously intense cello solo, lysergic freeform tripped out segments, meditative soundscapes, and mood changes that keep the music interesting throughout. A Brave Face is similar but gets more aggressively rocking at times than the previous tracks. My favorite part is when the guitar is ripping away with a raw dirty rocking sound, and then the music turns on a dime, transitioning to a melodic floating section led by flute, and then slowly soloing guitar, followed by trumpet, which is revealing itself to be a No Man’s Land trademark. Once again there are vocals but this is really about the developing instrumental. At 4 minutes, Permian Vacation is the shortest track of the set and the most tightly composed, and during a flute-led segment it struck me as sounding like a psychedelic Jethro Tull. Unprotected In The World closes the album and has a 70’s Prog-Psych feel, though the No Man’s Land trademark sound keeps the music firmly in the present. And it’s got a really cool Bluesy section that is nothing like standard Blues. I also got the best sense of Vassilis’ talent as a singer on this song.

In summary, Unprotected is an impressive set of psychedelic rock that does an excellent job of creating melodic accessible music, yet takes a progressive rock approach to instrumental thematic development, whiling managing to retain a loose jamming quality. And I love the way these guy utilize the guitar, flute and trumpet. Recommended.

For more information you can visit the No Man’s Land web site at:
Visit the Anazitisi Records web site at:

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

Hazard Wings – “Interstellar Torment” (Krypta Records 2012)

Y’know the feeling you got first time you heard, as a spotty stoned teenager, In Search Of Space or Chronicle of The Black Sword on your first introduction to Hawkwind after a phase of cassettes with Ramones and Sex Pistols and punk in the mid 80’s right at the tail end of the 80’s when Nordic bands like DarXtar and Dark Sun were still about jamming Hawkwind style dark space punk just about to release demo cassettes? Well that’s what Hazard Wings Interstellar Torment CD is like… the first DarXtar LP, the first Dark Sun demo cassette, etc. Its superfabulous, it is what I loved about Hawkwind and their followers in the Arctic North from the get-go, the “Chronicles” metal darkness punk, bands like Full Moon (the UK one), old issues of Ptolemaic Terrascope from the late 80s, Monster Magnet’s first few EPs and Spine of God album; just that raw, 80’s, Hawkwindness. Call it post-80’s, but these guys had never heard of anything but dark underground, but I swear it was punk enough to be 80’s, with a morbid fascination for Venom and early Bathory to boot; maybe Candlemass in an imaginary world. It was Dark, it was Space, and YOU, STONED YOUNG ANGEL-WITCH was trying to cast counter Enchantments with your runes and your Jim Morrison poster. At least that is what I did. And I had Rodney Matthews posters and 2000 AD and Eclipse and Pacific comics in a pile.

Time Will Be My Grave is pure space-punk unheard since Dark Sun teamed up with Nik on Ice Ritual meets K. Soren’s first DarXtar outing on Garage Land 1990. From there the songs blur a bit, from one track that sounds like Seeing It As You Really Are via more raw Venom-K. Soren-goes-Finnish punky spacerock. I love this album to bits and you better thank Jerry Kranitz for letting me review it. If you grew up in The Dark Ages, was a Witch, or a Viking mayhap, and lived off mushrooms and smoke, and did tribal dances to DarXtar and Full Moon, go ahead and buy the 2012 CD by Finnish spacepunk band HAZARD WINGS! This CD I have here is number 43 / 100 and is out on Krypta Records. The band consists of Vesa Moilanen on vocal/basss/fx, Eero Ruotsalainen on guitar, Heikki Romppainen on drum, and finally Heiko Schach guitar solos on two tracks. The cover art is a wonderful pre-digital age stipled ink piece I would gladly place next to a John Coulthart, Bob Walker, or any other Hawkwind cover sporting an 8-pointed Chaos Eye in the barren 80’s Flicknife mideival era LP covers, a black & white hand drawn Rapidograph stipled LSD brain fallout. Wondrous. Give me more of these guys.

Interstellar Torment is available in CD, LP, Cassette and digital download formats from the Hazard Wings Bandcamp site:
Email at:

Reviewed by Christian Eric Mumford

Troldmand – “Live at Loppen” (Space Rock Productions 2012)

This CD was recorded live at Loppen, Christiania in Copenhagen, Denmark 2011. It has four tracks, all of which are totally instrumental, lasting around 40 minutes.

From the very first note of the first track, Et Samfund Under Jorden, I get an expectation of what is to follow. I hear, as the song progresses, a strong Amon Düül II style unfolding into an improvised disjointed mayhem, which just so happens to be my kind of madness.

I hear a lot of strangeness coming from the synthesizers and the guitars alike, which keeps me interested throughout, and I find that the further into the essence of the song we go, the more Amon Düül II it gets, which nicely demonstrates what the band are about from the off, and by the end of the track I am keen to hear more.

Track two, Det Borende X, is a fourteen-minute journey through the bowels of space, and from a listener’s point of view I feel that this is my favourite track of the CD, very spacey yet very earthy.

As we begin, I hear very subtle traces of Pink Floyd coming from the guitars, very much in the Echoes vein throughout, yet from these humble sounds, when the effected sustained bass guitar drones enter, we really begin to build minute by minute into a very nice trippy piece of music indeed. A one that is raw in the Igra Staklini Perli way, just as much in your face as Samsara Blues Experiment’s Long Distance Trip, and full of soul and passion as Pink Floyd were at the heights of the Pompeii era.

Track three, Atomrig, is a stoner styled mania, seared with Hawkwind’s Space Ritual era synthesizer bubbles that remain almost constant for the majority of the 4 minutes onslaught, until we abruptly halt and slowly enter into a true Hawkwind Space Ritual era piece, styled on the likes of 7 by 7 and Upside Down, etc., and this takes us through the next 4 minutes to the end. Very soulful Hawkwind sounding.

Track four, Rockford, Illinois, likewise takes the Hawkwind feel, taking the basics of a would be Brainstorm, as well as a number of other 70’s rock style riffs, and melding them all into one 9 minute space extravaganza, very much again in the Space Ritual era Hawkwind sound.

All tracks comprise of guitars, bass, drums, and manic synthesizers, which are an obvious must. All tracks are very power driven and earthy. All the instrumentation is well constructed and executed. The sound is good for a live gig, and really it is an experience to behold.

For more information you can visit the Troldman web site at:
Visit the Troldman Facebook page at:

Reviewed by Albert Pollard

Cyber Zen Sound Engine – “Cooperation” (self-released 2011, CZ063890)

Cooperation is the 4th album to date by Cyber Zen Sound Engine, and not having heard any of their other albums, I will jump straight in and be as honest as I can be.

The album has 16 instrumental pieces, all of which last under 5 minutes, and all flow in a style that plays more with piano and clean guitar reverberated spaces than it does with the freak out synthesizer soundscapes that so often frequent my reviews.

The music visualises a middle of the road melancholia. The clean guitars and the hollow drones haunt the ears with soft emotion. The subtle sound canvases foretell a place of neither darkness nor light, aligning rather with the bland grey matter, the place in between that conforms to the laws, instead of stretching the limits of the imagination. Therefore I feel that the tracks come and go; too short to express fully what they so desire to tell.

Each piece of music seems to stand alone. Glimpses of subtle Pink Floyd can be heard amongst the guitar pieces, as well as within the piano conjurations. Other pieces break the tempo and vary the mood by use of ethnic percussive elements that become the main rhythmical structure to the compositions when introduced, whereas the Pink Floyd moments were more prominently organic in organ/guitar/piano, void of all such percussion, and also void of the former ethnic flavour, which was nice!

I mention the word hollow in respect to the sounds used, they are too thin for me, as the word is in such realms, and this I find is my main concern. It is not bad musically at all, and I do not state it as such; I just find that, when doing such works as these, a good fat earthy synthesizer is more to my association, and an in depth exploration of one track may take 20 minutes to fully unfold… because as a listener I thrive to find affinity with the soul of the music, the earthy based hypnotism that engulfs the void of mind, projecting, with or without aid of substance, the sub-conscious to the nether regions, of which I am more akin… but it is not to be sadly, and this grieves my heart full sore.

It’s all just a touch too nice for me…

For more information you can visit:

Reviewed by Albert Pollard

Tekniset – “Technical Problems” (Freak Dance Records 2011)

Imagine if you will, a world where all life forms bow before The GREAT RAVING ALTAR OF TECHNO. Where the eternal holy thud thud thud thud thud thud thud ascends all matter frequentially towards that pinnacle of ecstasy some call God.

In that place, the bass lines stimulate the etheric spinal fluid, aligning each energy vortex in sequential succession until the TECHNO CHAKRIC CROWN IS ADORNED. And thus, HEAVEN is contained within… from which the two-fold manifestation of substance & spirit is symbolised through the dualistic DRUM & BASS, that which resonates with a pulse value of 140 BPM, or there about, depending on how deep the devotion is.


Religiously, before this altar, E’s, wiz, and LSD, are offered in appeasement of TECHNOGRAMMATON, the TECHCO GOD, who commands that all music foreign to Techno be manipulated with the eternal holy thud, and be born-again as the Techno floor fillers of the future, for those who still chose to exist in the 1990’s.

Imagine once more, TV theme tunes TECHNOED UP… Classical music TECHNOED UP… Everything TECHNOED UP… disco, funk, classical, pop, folk, and everything in between TECHNOED UP… This is Techno heaven for the insane…

F*** this s***… IT’S TOO F***ING BANGING… It’s done well mind you.

For more information you can visit the Freak Dance Records web site at:

Reviewed by Albert Pollard

Spectral Haze – Demo (2012, digital downlolad)

Spectral Haze hail from Oslo, Norway, and have four members. This band appears to be a supergroup of sorts, with members previously doing stints in Purple Hill Witch, High Priest Of Saturn and Resonaut. A cursory glance at their Facebook page shows images of blissed out guys wielding Gibson guitars and Rickenbacker basses in time honoured tradition, yet the band touch on some distinctly new musical ideas throughout their work here.

Track one, Forging an Astral Void, starts out with an echoed guitar riff with a twanging country edge. To me this is very reminiscent of the post-apocalyptic cowboy music of Fields of the Nephilim, and this eerie and shamanistic atmosphere is heightened further by the wolfman yelling of the vocalist. Individual lyrics are entirely lost, with the vocals heavily saturated in reverb and mixed to the back of the music. This allows the twin guitars to work closely, and at times the track freewheels with the grace of Levitation-era Hawkind, complete with soaring lead guitar work and pummelling bass lines.

Track two, Kali Magick, starts with a low key rhythm guitar part which is joined by bass and drums. The bass tone here is perfect, matching closely that of Geezer Butler’s early work in both grind and warmth. Tremolo-heavy guitar work, sometimes exploring Klezmer intervals and note clusters but often featuring the same Morricone twang as the first track, dominates here. The lupine vocals also make a reappearance as this track slowly stomps along, pausing at regular intervals for tom-heavy drum work. The track picks up in tempo half way through, and the band run through riffs reminiscent of Monster Magnet or Orange Goblin in their tonality; blues runs dominate here. The lower-tempo tremolo passages of the intro are revisited before the track finishes.

Track three, Kashf (Gaining Familiarity with Things Unseen Behind the Veils), follows. What a name! This track is a lower-tempo doom lope with the same Yiddish guitar lines of the first track. The riffs are again nicely elliptical, building a groove from repetition, with tight work from the rhythm section allowing the lead guitar to again cut loose. This track again breaks into a more frantic tempo, becoming almost as messy and undisciplined as Phallus Dei era Amon Düül II jamming, with those wolf cries again apparent in the back ground.

Track four, Tribe of the Cosmic Crow Giant, has more of a direct spacerock overtone than the previous tracks. The track is full on from the beginning, with the vocals again reduced to an ambient texture draped over the charging rhythm section. Like the first track, the drummer occasionally lapses into a surf-rock style back beat which works oddly well for such heavy music. The track has the same insistent beat as Deep Purple’s Highway Star, only without any trace of bloated neo-classical soloing. Instead those Yiddish guitar phrases are again soloed. Perhaps the guitarist is attempting to mimic ‘Eastern’ music in the same spiritual vein as Al Cisneros’s Tibetan-Chant-for-Rickenbacker post-Sleep Om project. Either way it is nice to hear a guitarist move out from the simple blues progressions that can otherwise keep this style of music firmly tethered to a pub rock vibe at times.

Overall I enjoyed this demo. The chiming guitar parts, reminiscent of Spaghetti Western soundtracks, gives the music a subtly different doom flavour that helps the band stick out from competition. As a demo it sounds really well recorded, though the first two tracks were preluded by gaps of silence on my copy, which initially gave me cause for concern. The vocals are buried in the mix, so any hope of interpreting the lyrics is completely lost. However, in their own way, the vocals help add to the overall mystical and esoteric vibe of the music, taking it beyond the usual territory of blues jamming and transporting it further out into the cosmos.

For more information you can visit the Spectral Haze web site at:

Reviewed by Alan Bragg

Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere – s/t (Discus Music 2012, DISCUS 40 CD)

“It is the job of the progressive artist to propose an alternative reality, and preferably one in which all notions of common sense have been completely eradicated. This collection is our proposal.” So states the opening lines of the promo sheet that came with this double CD. This massive project (around 150 minutes of music) is the work of long-time associates Martin Archer (organ, electric piano, laptop, saxophones and bass clarinet) and Chris Bywater (organ, synthesizers, laptop, acoustic and electronic percussion and electric violin), with the help of Steve Dinsdale (drums, percussion and synthesizer), Walt Shaw (percussion and electronics) and Terry Todd (bass guitar). That’s just the core band. Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere earns the “Orchestra” part of their name by rounding out their sound with a string quartet and wind and voice ensembles. Up to some 30 musicians appear on the album.

So how is the album? The band make references to Terry Riley and Alice Coltrane in their promo sheet, and those are two perfect touchstones in beginning to describe this music. You can especially hear this on, for example, the first two cuts on the album, Scene From Above Parts 1 and 2 (clocking in at 5 and 15 minutes respectively) as the band blends lush but very moody orchestral arrangements and jazzy, free explorations in the vein of Alice Coltrane’s World Galaxy album with minimalist electronic patterns similar to Riley’s A Rainbow in Curved Air. But that’s only where things start as the band stretches out and explores a lot of territory over the course of two discs. The Opposition Effect, with its pounding martial rhythms, gothic organ, John Coltrane-esque saxophone and Carl Orff like choral interjections would not be out of place on, say, Magma’s Mëkanïk Dëstruktïw Kömmandöh album, and When Thin Clouds Scud Across a Bright Moon , with its hypnotic rhythms and circular choirs, could almost be a lost Phillip Glass composition. Space fans have something to enjoy here too, with tracks like the 14-minute long Anti-Crepuscular Rays, sounding like very early Tangerine Dream falling in league with David Bedford’s Stars End.

If I’m making it sound like Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere is all over the place and can’t decide what they want to sound like, I don’t mean it that way. There is a very homogenous quality to the music. The lack of guitars, along with the use of lengthy organ chords and mysterious orchestral arrangements tie it all together. The thing that’s really interesting about it all is that it is neither rock music, nor classical, nor jazz, yet comprises elements of all three, blending them into a unique, but really kind of undefinable sound.

The explorations continue on the second disc, expanding outwards like the universe itself, into deep space ambience, experimental randomness and throbbing electronica. Sometimes, as on the track Their Dark Presence Stretches Through the Void, the music can get quite harrowing, suggesting a sense of almost Lovecraftian cosmic horror; or it can be vaguely unsettling, like the otherworldly woodland evoked in Rainforest Tension, but at other times it’s quite playful, as on The Umbral Length of Shadows, with its pulsing electronic signature, calliope-like arrangements and whooping Atom Heart Mother-esque choirs. One thing it never is, is boring. The band is careful to let each piece constantly evolve. Even when it’s tied together with a repetitive rhythm, the sounds swirling around it progress and allow the rhythm itself to seemingly transform with them.

If you’re a fan of some of the above mentioned artists like Alice Coltrane, Magma, Phillip Glass, Terry Riley, Tangerine Dream and David Bedford, you must get this album. Orchestra of the Upper Atmosphere is a cosmic feast for the ears and mind, and will take you to places unknown, from the depths of the human soul to the farthest, darkest reaches of the universe. Highly recommended!

For more info, visit: http:/ and

Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald

Guilty As Sin – “Future History” (G.A.S. Productions, 2012)

US band Guilty As Sin could best be described as progressive death metal, and death metal itself has been described in author Nigel Latta’s “Politically Incorrect Guide To Teenagers” book as being like a wall of distortion and screaming: “If you took Beethoven, covered him in metal bolts, fed him into a jet engine, and then revved the whole thing up, you would get some idea of how death metal sounds!” Like it or hate it, that is probably a fairly accurate description of that musical genure, and many of the tracks on Future History do indeed bring to mind Beethoven, bolts and jet engines to mind. However, as was the case with 2011’s Psychotronic, Guilty As Sin have chosen to temper their distortion and screams with a dash of progressive rock, which may be appreciated by Aural Innovations readers who make it past the first few tracks.

Guilty mainstays Zak Ovian (drums), Dan Madam (guitars) and Ryan Dilbarian (bass), have added lead vocalist (and author of the distorted screams) Steve Milionis into their pyrotechnic mix, which has tended to enhance their death metal aspirations more than their progressive side. Statement of intent album-opener One Way Ticket To Oblivion holds back to a mere breakneck speed, but I hate Hipsters (“I hate hipsters, and I hate you!”) and R.S.D.T.Y. (with its Ramones-style “1234” countdown) are so short and sharp that they barely register, taking less than two minutes each to put you through their musical meat grinder. Ensnared by Stygian Tentacles stretches out a little, with a nice “eastern” guitar solo reminiscent of Rainbow’s Stargazer played at 45rpm. Magical Papyri Of The Tetragrammaton and Midnight Hammer are the two most progressive tracks, the former a nine-minute epic with spoken-word vocals, the latter a seven-minute instrumental workout which gives Ryan Dilbarian a rare chance to shine (bass solos being none too common in death metal), and containing time-changes aplenty; as with the best tracks on Psychotronic, you could almost be listening to Dream Theatre on steroids or Rush at their heaviest. Death From Alpha Centauri contains more death than it does Alpha Centauri, with a harsh Throbbing Gristle noise collage acting as a coda. Most baffling of all is the closing title track, featuring muted trumpet and trombone over programmed beats and scarcely a guitar or scream in hearing range.

When it comes down to it, only card-carrying death metallers are likely to find real enjoyment (an oxymoron?) in Guilty As Sin’s visions of future history. However, those that do may be pleasantly surprised at how the band have managed to avoid sticking resolutely to that one-dimensional formula.

For more information, contact Zak at
The band’s myspace website is

Reviewed by Pat Albertson