Saturday, 26 May 2018

Sons Of Alpha Centauri - Continuum (Album Review)


Release date: June 01st 2018. Label: Various. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Continuum – Tracklisting

1.Into The Abyss
2.Jupiter
3.Solar Storm
4.Io
5.Surfacing for Air
6.Interstellar
7.Orbiting Jupiter
8.Return Voyage

Members

Nick Hannon (bass)
Marlon King (guitars)
Blake (electronics)
Stevie B (drums)

Review

Sons Of Alpha Centauri (SOAC) are a band that should rightly be bigger than they actually are. The band have been together for over sixteen years and have released one full length album and a ton of split records with legendary Desert/Stoner Rock bands such as Karma To Burn and Yawning Man. SOAC even formed a group with Yawning Man called Yawning Sons. One of the best collaborations within the Desert/Stoner Rock scene.

Now SOAC return with their eagerly awaited second full length album - Continuum. The album opens with - Into The Abyss - a stylish Post-Rock/Ambient/Stoner Rock song that feels partially inspired by John Carpenter theme music. As the electronic sounds could have easily fitted into one of his classic movies. The mood and atmosphere is very subtle with glimpses of heavy guitars threatening to break through.

Second track - Jupiter - has a gloomy sprawling post-rock atmosphere. The song turns into a heavy Psychedelic blend of Stoner Rock/Post-Metal. The mood is deliberately slow-paced but that allows the music to grow and breathe more naturally. The ambient post-rock parts of the song have quite a jazz based approach though it's the heavier sounds that make SOAC's music truly stand out.

SOAC carry on this style of Stoner Rock/Post-Metal hybrid sound on the remainder of the album with songs such as: Solar Storm, lo and Interstellar being some of the best songs on the album. Though the standout track has to be the epic final song - Return Voyage - which offers almost eleven minutes of finely tuned progressive Post-Rock/Post-Metal vibes though merged with SOAC's trademark Desert/Stoner Rock sound.

Some people are wondering why have SOAC ventured into the realm of Post-Rock/Post-Metal than their usual Stoner Rock sound. Well that could be down to the person who recorded and produced this album. Aaron Harris from legendary Sludge/Post-Metal collective - ISIS. Aaron has brought a true Post-Rock/Post-Metal sensibility for SOAC's new sound. I admire SOAC's creative choices on this album. As some of their fans maybe think the album is too heavy for SOAC. However bands need to progress and SOAC has made the perfect choice with releasing this album. Though SOAC don’t forget their Stoner Rock roots on this album As John McBain (ex-Monster Magnet) to master this album.

Continuum is a brave and bold album that's very atmospheric and even gloomy in parts. The album has its fair share of melodic parts but it's mostly a genuinely exciting and heavy audio experience. Everything about this album oozes class and it's perhaps my favourite SOAC record they've released so far.

With Yawning Man releasing a new album later this year. It's good to see the "old-guard" of Desert/Stoner Rock coming back and showing the younger generation of bands how to create a beautiful sounding album that has thought and intelligence to match. The instrumental work is wonderful throughout.

SOAC have put a lot of thought into the overall structure of the album. As everything flows beautifully together. Even there are no vocals; Continuum has a superb storyline that ventures into the vast reaches of Space. Continuum has the potential to be one of the best Instrumental Rock/Metal albums released this year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Tom at Polymath PR and Sons Of Alpha Centauri for the promo. Continuum will be available to buy from the following records labels listed below on June 1st 2018.


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