Wednesday 22 November 2023

HIBUSHIBIRE - Magical Metamorphosis Third Eye (Album Review)

Release Date: November 24th 2023. Record Label: Riot Season Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Magical Metamorphosis Third Eye - Tracklisting

Orangesunshine Of Your Lovemachine

We Won't Go Back To The Past

Death Surfin USA

Tomorrow Never Ends

Ayahuasca Witch Abduction


Tetsuji Toyoda - Bass/Bass Synthesizer/Vocal (Mermaid Mountain)

Aoi Hama - Drums/Suntur/Vocal (Cat Tongue Queen)

Changchang - Guitar/Acoustic Guitar/Guitar Synthesizer/Bouzouki/Electronics/Vocal (Melting Eye Spectacle)


Magical Metamorphosis Third Eye is the new album from Japanese Psych/Space/Prog/Stoner Rockers HIBUSHIBIRE and sees the band return with a different line-up compared to their 2019 acclaimed album "Turn On, Tune In, Freak Out". This album sees HIBUSHIBIRE use themes such as Occultism and Mysticism though it's also about other things the band likes such as UFO's, Pyramids and Psychic Phenomena according to the press release. HIBUSHIBIRE play a never ending style of classic freakout psychedelic guitars throughout the album. Add elements of 60's/70's based Psych Rock, Cosmic Rock and Prog Rock which airs a cautious rebellious feeling within the quieter moments of the album before a frantic and aggressive seedy underbelly of Krautrock and legendary Japanese Psychedelic beats.

Opening track Orangesunshine Of Your Lovemachine is a catchy and chaotic style of Experimental Psychedelic Stoner Rock with frenzied guitars and jagged drumming that allows the vocals to drift off into multiple different directions. 

HIBUSHIBIRE do feel more creatively closer to certain landmark bands of the 1960's Rock scene such as The Beatles, The Byrds and The Beach Boys on the superbly mellow second track We Won't Go Back To The Past which showcases a different style of music from HIBUSHIBIRE. 

Third track Death Surfin USA matches the crazed glitchy and distorted Psychedelic sounds from the excellent opening track which draws upon THE WHO in the heavier destructive moments whilst still retaining that quality Japanese Psychedelic Freakout sound. The later stages of the track are wonderfully aggressive with HIBUSHIBIRE playing without a care in the world at times but there is METHOD TO THEIR MADNESS allowing the band to play with a sense of reckless abandonment but still retaining a cool sounding experimental groove.

Fourth track Tomorrow Never Ever Knows is driven by that Occultism and Mysticism influence mentioned previously with heavy frantic and sleazy trippy guitars perfectly balancing the 1960's Psych Rock Dream and then turning on it's head with a seedy almost sounding Doom Rock sound. The vocals have a certain conceptual feeling and flow to them but it matches the heavy rock attitude that HIBUSHIBIRE play within the background. There's moments of Psychedelic based Middle Eastern instrumental flavours that work amazingly well with the more riff-centric attitude of the album. 

The final song Ayahuasca Witch Abduction is an epic twenty minute plus song where HIBUSHIBIRE play everything that's been heard previously on the album but on a more grander and progressive scale. Ambient sounds, Jazzy beats and glitchy sound effects have an almost true life LSD feeling where I felt like I was being transported to another world at times. The instrumental work is confusing at times and with the vocals moving from one different tone to the next, the first few moments can be quite jarring at first. 

However, when HIBUSHIBIRE settles down into play a more cohesive and creative musical journey and that's when the real magic happens. Trippy extended instrumental Psych/Space Rock jams with the seedy underbelly of 1960's and 1970's RAWK & ROLL being given that Japanese Freakout makeover then HIBUSHIBIRE are KEEPERS of their own CREATIVE DOMAIN with a non-stop style of experimental and psychedelic breakdowns and frantic Cosmic activity that makes you wanting to hear more.

Magical Metamorphosis Third Eye is perhaps the freakiest and most far-out album of the year with HIBUSHIBIRE releasing a highly unconventional releases that twists the creative fabric of what is impossible within the Psychedelic/Space Rock scene and sound so devastatingly original within it's own right.

Then again am I really surprised with this great album being released by the always amazing and ever reliable Riot Season Records. Which is perhaps the perfect record label for the seriously weird and wonderful bands of the Underground Rock Scene to call home. And that's another great reason why to check out this brilliantly inventive album from one of Japan's finest Psychedelic/Space Rock bands. 

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe 

Thanks to Riot Season Records for the promo.

Magical Metamorphosis Third Eye will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Riot Season Records from November 24th 2023.


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