Saturday 28 May 2016

It’s Not Night: It’s Space - Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting (Album Review)

Release date: June 24th 2016. Label: Small Stone Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting – Tracklisting

1.Nada Brahma 03:25
2.The Beard of Macroprosopus
3.Across the Luster of the Desert Into the Polychrome Hills
4.Starry Wisdom
5.Pillars in the Void
6.The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden

Band Members:

Kevin Halcott - Guitar
Tommy Guerrero - Bass
Michael Lutomski - Drums


It’s Not Night: It’s Space (INNIS) turned a few heads with their spaced out and Middle Eastern flavoured style of Psych/Doom/Stoner Metal. It won the band acclaim for their inventive use of different sounds and noises for one worldly experience.

Fast forward almost three years and the band has returned with their new album – Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting. A very strange title to match the music they’ve created here. Newly signed to Small Stone Records, INNIS have toned down their Middle Eastern sounds and replaced it with a more spaced out psychedelic sound. There are still traces of Middle Eastern noises but the one thing that drives this album is heavy psychedelic riffs that transcend the normal genre Doom/Stoner Metal conventions.

Opening track – Nada Brahma – is a short-paced (well three minutes is short by INNIS standards) track where the band utilize moments of Drone, Doom and Ambient noises with a haunting soundclip. The riffs slowly start to appear before drifting away quietly in the background.

Second track – The Beard Of Macroprosopus – is a heavy Stoner/Space Rock song that lasts around nine minutes with the band quickly creating heavy riffs with distorted doom vibes. The song takes on different identities as INNIS expertly prove what accomplished musicians they actually are. Shades of OM, Black Sabbath, Kyuss and Earthless all appear at times but INNIS manage to keep the mood exciting and fresh. Perhaps my favourite track on the album.

Third track – Across the Luster of the Desert Into the Polychrome Hills – opens with a more laid back vibe with haunting ambient noises slowly setting up the platform for the band to take on you on another spaced out cosmic journey. Swirls of slow-paced guitars and drone based drums start to become heavier and more focused as time passes by. INNIS venture into doomier sounds towards the end of the song as the listener becomes more comfortable with the different noises around them.

Fourth Track – Starry Wisdom – is the song that appears next and sees INNIS change their sound ever slightly again with a rawer sound compared to the previous songs. At times this song feels under-produced at times but I feel that’s what the band was aiming for. It’s more emotionally involving than the other songs as the instrumental work feels quite solitary at times. The band does return to their heavier sounds though it feels the band have used vintage recording equipment to record this song. As the sound is distorted through out. It has a vintage quality to it. The final moments sees the band include perhaps some of the heaviest riffs on the album especially with the drone/doom sounds.

The final two tracks – Pillars In The Wind and Sixth track – The Black Iron Prison and the Palm Tree Garden – sees the band return to their Eastern Middle sounds and this is perhaps long-time fans will find the most enjoyment. As they return to familiar sounds but merged with their newer and heavier psychedelic sounds. Pillars In The Wind is perhaps the strongest out of the final two tracks but don’t write off the final track as INNIS still offer a few surprises along the way.

The album sounds incredible through-out. The production is first rate as you feel emotionally connected to the music from the very start. Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting is simply an album that will not only be considered as one of the years best instrumental rock albums but perhaps one of the best albums of the year.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Earsplit PR for the promo. Our Birth Is But A Sleep And A Forgetting will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Small StoneRecords from June 24th 2016.