Saturday 9 September 2017

Cities Of Mars - Temporal Rifts (Album Review)

Release date: September 22nd 2017. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl

Temporal Rifts – Tracklisting

1.Doors of Dark Matter Pt 1: Barriers
2.Envoy of Murder
3.Gula, a Bitter Embrace
4.Children Of The Red Sea
5.Caverns Alive!


Danne Palm, bass & vox
Christoffer Norén, guitar & vox
Johan Küchler, drums & vox


Science Fiction plays a big part within Cities Of Mars debut full length album - Temporal Rifts. As the album has a heavy progressive spaced out sound running throughout the entire album. They created a similar atmosphere and sound on their excellent debut EP – Celestial Mistress - released last year. Now the band have returned with their eagerly awaited debut album.

With the band being from Sweden, a huge anticipation rests on their shoulders before a note is played from the album. As when Doom/Stoner Metal fans here the magic words "Doom/Stoner Metal band from Sweden" - they automatically expect and assume the band will create a huge sounding album. Mainly down to the fact that Sweden has provided the Doom/Stoner Metal world an abundance of top quality bands over the years.

I'm happy to report that Cities Of Mars are no different as Temporal Rifts is a highly accomplished and fantastic sounding debut album. The tone and atmosphere of the album maybe influenced by Science Fiction but the overall sound and atmosphere of the album rests firmly within the worlds of Doom/Stoner Metal.

Opening track - Doors Of Dark Matter Pt One: Barriers - is a spaced out psychedelic affair with the Doom/Stoner Metal riffs having quite a very DIY and raw sound. To the band's credit they make this work, as their music has a much stripped back approach. The music has quite a progressive feel that flits between Mastodon (Crack The Skye) sounds and even Monster Magnet at times.

Second track - Envoy Of Murder - sees Cities Of Mars create a more bass-heavy affair that adds an element of dark psychedelic fuzz to the proceedings of the album. The vocals are loud and brash that interacts with the music surprisingly well. The lyrics can be very bleak at times which surprised me in a way. The song has a very cool sounding psychedelic interlude with proggy cosmic riffs leaving you to concentrate on the music and perhaps even lose yourself in the moment.

Third track - Gula, A Bitter Embrace - is where the album moves into more subtle and progressive stoner metal territory. As Cities Of Mars create a densely plotted song that works on different levels. On one level, the band create epic Mastodon-sounding progressive riffs that sound super-fresh and original on their own terms. Another level is the lyrics, as the band conjure up an intriguing concept and story within the timeframe of the song.

The final two songs Children Of The Red Sea and Caverns Alive! offer almost seventeen minutes of heavy progressive cosmic doomed out riffs. It's perhaps with these two songs where Cities Of Mars create the most exciting and heaviest moments placed on the album. Some people may complain the album is too short running at a brisk thirty five minutes. Though I personally feel that Cities Of Mars made the right decision with the "less is more" approach. As the album is packed with original themes and ideas that you may miss first time round.

Temporal Rifts is a thrilling and exciting debut full length album. If you're a fan of Mastodon and BEASTWARS then be prepared for a colossal and huge sounding album.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to NeeCee Agency for the promo. Cities Of Mars will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Argonauta Records from Sept 22nd 2017.