Giöbia – “Magnifier” (Sulatron Records 2015, CD/LP)

Milano, Italy based Giöbia are back with the successor to their 2013 released Introducing Night Sound album (also on Sulatron). In my review of that album I commented on how very different it was from their one previous set I had heard, the 2004 released Beyond The Stars. Whereas the earlier album was like a song-oriented take on an Ozric Tentacles meets Ship Of Fools style, Introducing Night Sound was characterized by a combination of 60s influenced Psychedelia and Space Rock with bouzouki and sitar inflected ethnic influences.

Magnifier seems to draw on the styles of music that graced both those albums. This World Was Being Watched Closely is a smokin’ opening track, featuring throbbing Space Rock with riffage that anyone who knows Giöbia’s Beyond The Stars will recognize, and has Orson Welles War Of The Worlds radio narratives scattered throughout. The convulsively high intensity The Pond brings to mind a Stoner-Space Rock Vibravoid. The Stain is an eerie brand of Space Rock that starts off in sludgy cosmic Stoner mode, but soon envelops the proceedings in orchestral synths, then dips into a Kosmiche Prog organ and synth led transition before launching into a somewhat dancey Space Rock dirge. LOTS happening in only 4 minutes! Lentamente la luce svanira is another Space Rocker with a hypnotic mind-bending throb, extra-terrestrial guitars and cool sci-fi keys. At only 3 minutes, Devil’s Howl is the shortest and most intensely rocking song of the set, cutting a stoned rocking swath and obliterating anything in its path. This is followed by the epic Sun Spectre, which at 15 minutes is by far the longest track of the set. It rocks hard in Psychedelic space and features more riffage that recalls the Beyond The Stars album, but also soaring and wailing spaced out guitars, wilding oscillating and volcanic effects and steadily propulsive drumming. After a while it veers off into a dreamy floating Hawkwind and old time Komiche Prog segment that’s at first synth dominated but then slowly starts to bring in the other instruments before abruptly blasting off into hot rocking space again. Absolutely monstrous! Finally, The Magnifier goes into Vibravoid meets Farflung mode for a majestic close to this magnificent set that is sure to make my Best of 2015 list. Highest recommendation!

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Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz

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