Tag Archives: space

Underground Sounds: Spaceslug – Time Travel Dilemma

Label:
Band: Spaceslug
Origin: Poland

I got to know Spaceslug thanks to their amazing album ‘Lemanis’ (read the review here). The Polish band truly embraces the spaced out stoner sound like not many band have done in recent years. Unlike the Bongzilla’s of this world, Spaceslug really let’s every riff ride out its trajectory, not trying to go for that constant hitting the heavy riffs.

The  group has now dropped the follow up, titled ‘Time Travel Dlilemma’. On the cover we see the Space Slug travelling into the great beyond. The great print really fits the futuristic, dreamy sound of the band. What I love so much is how this all seems to come so natural to the guys, like a walk in the park. I felt that same thing when I published this short interview.

The trio seems to be taking things a bit more serious on this album. The previous record sounded great, but it is clear that more work went into this new effort. The sound is more balanced, more purposeful. Languid, easy going riffs really float by, nowhere does it really touch that solidity that is familiar from most stoner. It’s really meandering and drifting through space on the heavy but somehow mellow riffs on the titletrack ‘Orion’.

The mis seems to be on purpose a bit hazy on tracks like ‘Living the Eternal Now’, to make the interplay between the notes as smooth and dreamy as possible. Spaceslug have found their niche along bands like Mantra MachineSungrazer and maybe even some Colour Haze. On the title track Sander Haagmans from Sungrazer actually sings. There’s no real propulsion, no earthiness to their sound on this record, which distiniguishes them from the feisty, driven stoner bands with sand between their teeth. When Bartosz Janik is singing, he’s never doing that biting, agressive thing, he just sings to the void. The reverberating bass, the soaring riffs…

In space there is no wind, no weight, no direction and that is translated into the music of Spaceslug. This album definitely connects with the genre at large, but melts in shoegaze and postrock to create a new dimension. Spaceslug measures their force and slowly slides onward to stardom.

 

 

Underground Sounds: Mesarthim – .- -​.​.​. .​.​. . -. -​.​-​. .

Label: Independent (Bandcamp)
Band: Mesarthim
Origin: Australia

Yeah, the name of this album is weird, but in morse code it might mean something like ‘Absence’. A fitting title for the places where the astral journeys of Mesarthim are taking the band. There is no other like the sound of this Australian band. Mesarthim (Gamma Arietis) is the name of a binary star system in the northern constellation of Aries. The name is of obscure origins.

That last bit is from the band themselves, which is a unit of two unknown Australians. Well, that’s that then. Shrouded in mystery, the band is the next in line next to Darkspace and Mare Cognitum to delve into space metal, continuing the work of Summoning and Agalloch into unearthly realms. This they do well, by letting go of most of the more earthly elements in the music.

The music is therefor hardly grounded in a foundation of heavy concrete rhythm section, but soars freely with synths and vocals that work more as part of the texture than spitting venom at the gods. It’s the sound of majestic nothingness, of floating amongst the stars with riffs that though fast and tight never really urge you in any direction. It’s liberating to listen to this band, who create a completely catchy and enveloping sound that borders on the cheesy but never goes over.  It’s like Darkspace is jamming with Jean Michel Jarre, amazing.

A record to get lost in, with a production that feels like a poofy pillow when you land your head in it. The keys are the most prevalent amidst the woolly production and offer you moments of introspection, to think of the meaning and insignificance of it all. Maybe this is in fact the most nihilist you can get in black metal, where everything just becomes specs of dust… Those thoughts enter my head when the organ sound fades away slowly on ‘…–‘.

The bombast of the synths and layers on layers of sound is a bit overwhelming, maybe a bit too much for some listeners even. It’s as if the band is trying really, really hard to do something completely new and in doing so they probably lose much of their following. But… In a way it expresses best the thing that it wants to express, which is an experience of space, of the sublime and overwhelming category of experience. Something almost impossible to grasp.