Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)

Kabbalah are brewing a psychedelic elixir in their cauldron of dreams and it is called The Omen.

The trio from Pamplona, Spain creates music that is a fascinating amalgam of contemporary fuzzy doom matched to a seventies-era rock passed through a grungy sifting machine where unexpected elements latch on, including beautiful melodic vocals and eerie themes and harmonies. The band has released a few EPs, as well as the full-length album Spectral Ascent (2017), leading up to the new one, The Omen.

The album is described in the band’s press release in part as an “occult rock grimoire where sticky melodies, funerary riffs and haunting vocals come together.” All of these things are true. I can think of a couple of bands from the past that appear to be clear influences on Kabbalah, but I have never heard anything quite like the music they make so let’s set those other names aside.

Some of the songs have a sharper edge, like the opener “Stigmatized” with its gravelly guitars, and “The Ritual,” which comes across more directly serious and dramatic. Much of the music is very laid back and hypnotic, with clearer seventies-inspired guitar tones and lovely, lilting vocals, as in “The Night Comes Near.” The echoing whispers and urging rhythms in “Labyrinth” come back to you at night when you are falling asleep, and the closer, “Liturgy,” is convincingly summative. You can feel the living desert infused in the notes of this music, and you when you close your eyes as the album plays you come to know the spirit of the ceremony.

If you rotate this album into your listening queue your life will be better. Recommended.

The digital for The Omen is at Bandcamp, Rebel Waves Records (an imprint of Ripple Music) has the CD and vinyl, and you can get a cassette from Stoner Witch Records.

Links.

Bandcamp, https://kabbalahrock.bandcamp.com/

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Kabbalahrock

Ripple Store, https://ripplemusic.bigcartel.com/products

Stoner Witch Store, https://stonerwitchrecords.bigcartel.com/products

Kabbalah, The Omen (Rebel Waves Records 2021)

Arcadian Child, Protopsycho review (Ripple Music 2020)

The third album from the Limassol, Cyprus psychedelic rock band Arcadian Child is a wellspring of musical circumstance. It has tendrils that will touch you even when the quiet comes.

I do not know much about the band. According to the internet, it is populated by Panagiotis Georgiou (vocals, guitars), Stathis Hadjicharalambous (guitars), Andreas Kerveros (bass and vocals), and Constantinos Pavlides (drums). Their first album was Afterglow (2017), followed by Superfonica (2018). These two albums have a more grunge-like approach than the new one, and they are a bit more musically linear. The latest is a departure. It is not completely different, but it has a more ethereal quality to it. Listening to Protopsycho muted my cerebral filters so let me just recount what poured out through my keyboard while it was happening.

“Snakecharm” has a definite winding and rectilinear undulation to it, with an exotic echo that becomes the musical pattern. “Wave High” continues the desert warble and magical theme, while “Sour Grapes” has more blatantly psychedelic elements and inward looking conceptualizations. Mysticism lives in “The Well,” from its harmony wave background (as in South Asian music) at the beginning to its ethereal insinuation that becomes the primary companion. The peace is disturbed by heavily distorted guitars on the back end that turn the trip toward a more sinister aspect.

“Bitter Tea” was released as a single. It has a plucky and chatty essence. “Bodies of Men” is a drive down a lonely road at night with only one working headlight and 3/8 of a tank of gas. Very catchy riffing. “Raisin’ Fire” has a long steady chanting set up for the sprint at the end, where things really start to kick in. The closer is the title track. It is the culmination of the ritual that has been going on since the record first started to spin. The music rises and repeats in a rotational confrontation to exterior motion. And then it comes to rest.

Protopsycho is a Rebel Waves Records release from Ripple Music, available at Bandcamp and the other regulars. I am going to have to sit with this music for a while to allow the full impact to land. My first impression is: recommended.

Links.

Band Bandcamp, https://arcadianchildband.bandcamp.com/

Band Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/arcadianchildband/

Band YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKI7gQhSPURQglbhd3MMm4g

Ripple Music, https://ripplemusic.bandcamp.com/

Arcadian Child, Protopsycho review (Ripple Music 2020)