Tuesday 26 March 2024

Samsara Joyride - The Subtle And The Dense (Album Review)

Release Date: 23rd February 2024. Record Label: Tonzonen Records. Formats: CD/ DD/Vinyl 

The Subtle And The Dense - Tracklisting:

1. I Won't Sign Pt. 1

2. I Won't Sign Pt. 2

3. Too Many Preachers

4. Sliver

5. Who Tells The Story

6. No One Is Free

7. Safe & Sound

The band:

Florian Miehe - guitar, vocals

Michael Haumer - guitar, vocals

Daniel Batliner - bass guitar

Andreas Mittermühler - drums


Why is it that you hear about bands, good and appealing things, yet you don't give them the time of day? The excuses for this are impossibly too numerous to mention but ignoring them is what happened between yours truly and Samsara Joyride. This Austrian quartet has moved within my periphery for a while without my paying any attention...until now, thankfully. And that "now" is their brand new album, 'The Subtle And The Dense'.

First of all, rarely has an album title been so accurate and in tune with the music. Samsara Joyride play delicate tones mixed with stoner rock, electric blues and trippy as hell segments. And they way they blend this is so perfectly in tune with the name 'The Subtle And The Dense'. Take a listen or a thousand and you know what I mean. 

'I Won't Sign Pt. 1' starts off the proceedings and it's mid-tempo to slow and mesmerizing, hypnotic and almost tribal in approach with riffs to die for. Samsara Joyride truly reels you in right from the start and won't let you go. It leads in perfectly to 'I Won't Sign Pt. 2' which continues what Part 1 set up, the only difference being it begins even slower and gradually builds up as a wonderful slide guitar takes the song even further. All of a sudden the band unleashes the fury to move to a whole different level. A brilliant instrumental composition. 'Too Many Preachers' follows and it is lurking and sinister as Samsara Joyride simply crushes it. Another composition which has a gradual build-up only to drop down and it works so damned well! Hypnotic and alluring, 'Sliver' is almost like a super trippy Monster Magnet at their very best. About 2 minutes in the band kick into 6th gear moving it up only to drop back eventually. That trademark Samsara Joyride weaving back and forth between tempos blows me away. 

Wrapping their web around you and dousing you with their magic, the band paints wonderful images on the slow trippy 'Who Tells The Story'. It allows your mind to be free and let go of the negativity you might hold on to. The band's love for the blues is put in the front room on 'No One Is Free'. Starting off minimalistically about halfway through Samsara Joyride switch to a very heavy, electric and fast blues and it's brilliant, indeed! Album closer 'Safe & Sound' is jazzy, bluesy and light in approach. Laura Fichtenkamm's voice is a welcome addition and adds more layers. Hopeful and uplifting...oh, and that solo towards the end is mindblowing!

I'm so thankful the blindfold was removed from my eyes and unfolding the magic of Samsara Joyride. Better late than ever, I guess, especially with so much music available where a lot of great stuff just disappears in an avalanche of over-abundance. Samsara Joyride are more than needed in this environment and then some. Do yourselves the favour and check these guys out, your lives will be so much better if you do!

Words by Håkan Nyman


Official | Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram