Combat Astronomy's third ensemble release opens with a long haunting human call that seems to come out across a desert at night: echoing and morphing into the strange off kilter ritual of 'Astralized', a looping miasma of dubbed out horns, dervish incantations and ostinato grinding bass.
This hypnagogic atmosphere continues throughout the disc, an eerie otherworldly aspect and restless energy that often threatens to collapse the rigid grasp the nuanced drums and de-tuned tectonic bass have over the poly-rhythmic structures. The lyrical narratives of its predecessor "Dreams No Longer Hesitate" are gone, and when di Falcos vocals do merge are either indecipherable or phonetic: sometimes little more than primal screams, at other times layered choruses.
A continuous dense wall of shifting sound, Combat Astronomy show possibly their highest level of stylistic purity so far – the sense 'otherworldly yet familiar' experience more akin to the primal landscapes of Zoviet France than the typical library references of extreme metal or free jazz. Like Tarkovsky's films, the music seems to communicate primarily with ones unconscious mind regardless of whether the conscious one is enthralled or repulsed.
Huggett and Archers mastery of meditative stillness within an onslaught of movement reaches a pinnacle here - wailing horn textures and vapor trail drones soar over subterranean doom metal riffs: the musical architecture undergoing a permanent, pulsating alternation of creation and dissolution.
released 31 May 2010
Baritone, alto and sopranino saxes. Bass and Bb clarinets. Unidentified Chinese reed instrument. Electronics, voice.
Elaine di Falco
5 string fretless bass. Baritone guitar. Electronics. Programming/production.