Belgium based Cosmic Trip Machine return for their first album since 2010’s The Curse of Lord Space Devil. The band are the quartet of Will Z on keyboards, Majnun on guitar, oG on bass, and Sammy on drums. The new album is titled Golden Horus Name, and has an interesting theme so I’ll quote from the promo sheet:
The album tells two different stories: the celestial cow Egyptian myth in broad outline and the story of Barrington, a cursed rock star, a great Pharaoh reincarnation, who lived in Swinging London and fell into a deep depression. The character is directly inspired by the life of the musician Ramases who recorded during the 60’s and 70’s some singles and two beautiful albums.
That alone gets Cosmic Trip Machine an A+ for imagination in my book. The album consists of 10 songs, most in the 4-5 minutes range, give or take a few minutes. The music is firmly rooted in late 60s-early 70s heavy Prog-Psych, with a classic, and quite luscious, Hammond organ sound, and ripping guitar leads.
Aristophanes opens the set and is like a mixture of The Doors and Purple Overdose. Let Your Eye Come Down starts with chanting voices and swirling space synths before launching into a chunky rocking slab of high intensity hard Prog-Psych. For great songs, Flower is one of my favorites, with propulsive guitar and organ, sitar-like chords, a killer melody and great guitar solos. If this came out in 1968 it would be remembered as one of that era’s great psychedelic songs. The pace slows for the title track, which is a trippy acoustic led tune. A Part Of Me is another slower paced song, this one a pleasant drifting melodic psychedelic rocker. The vocals and guitar solos are excellent! This song is sheer beauty, and at nearly 8 minutes takes plenty of time to stretch out and explore. Celestial Cow is a short, spacey, Progressive Rock instrumental, that despite its pastoral nature manages to fit in, quite seamlessly, yet another ripping guitar solo. Reincarnation Blues is a straight-forward though pretty killer heavy Blues rocker. Rising From Its Ashes is a 2 minute doomy showcase for Majnun’s guitar shredding. Song Of Rising Preacher Man is another monster, transitioning though multiple themes, including cool grooving funky Arthur Brown-like tribal bits and some of the most powerhouse 70s rockin’ Prog-Psych of the set. God damn, these guys kick ass! The Lady From Nowhere Land closes the set and is another longer stretch-out track, at just over 8 minutes. This is another of the more heavy Prog oriented tracks, though very spacey-trippy, with seductive keys and yet more impressive guitar.
In summary, the musicianship on Golden Horus Name is solid and the vocals outstanding. And these guys have a flair for rocking hard with catchy melodic hooks. Much of the album is a retro experience to be sure, but if you pine for the sounds of the late 60s – early 70s, these guys have NAILED IT. And if you recall the stories the album is based on… those sounds are what the theme of the album is all about.
Note that the album is a vinyl only release on Nasoni, download code included. It will also be available from iTunes in September.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz