Yuri Gagarin – self-titled (Levande Begravd Records 2013, LP/Download)

Yuri Gagarin are a Swedish band and I believe this self-titled LP is their debut. The music is all instrumental, ultra-heavy space rock that draws on stoner, metal and hard rock influences to create a non-stop, full frontal deep space cosmic blitzkrieg.

First Orbit is a blistering stoner-metal space rocker with Blanga-like repetitive riffage and basic but catchy melodies. The sonic assault guitars blaze away while the space synths soar, rising and falling, bubbling and splashing as they weave their cosmic arc. An instrumental version of Litmus without the prog elements would be a good analogy. Sonic Invasion 2910 continues down a similar path, in this case bringing to mind a more metallic version of Farflung. Za Kosmosom lays down a steadily stoned space-metal foundation over which the guitar leads the way in hypnotic om chant fashion, which sounds great along with the wah’d liquid psychedelic leads. As hard and heavy as this tune is, the music has a mesmerizing quality, being simultaneously punishing and trance-inducing. Finally, The Big Rip is the most rock ‘n’ rolling track of the set, being a Hawkwind in a heavy metal wrapper, intergalactic battle for a free universe space rock anthem.

The album may be under 40 minutes long, but Yuri Gagarin have pulled out the big guns, with a set that will leave you stunned, shaken, and begging for more. For fans of Litmus, Farflung, First Band From Outer Space, and Stone Oak Cosmonaut. Vinyl junkies – check out that cover art.

For digital streaming and download visit the Yuri Gagarin Bandcamp site at: http://yurigagarinswe.bandcamp.com
The Levande Begravd Records web site is at: http://levande-begravd.blogspot.com. It’s in Swedish so if you’re interested in the vinyl I recommended emailing them at levandebegravd1@gmail.com

Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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