Review Summary: And we're waiting, we're waiting, we're waiting...
Samsara Blues Experiment's highly successful debut, Long Distance Trip
, was a blessing and a curse at the same time. In less than a year, they have become one of the most sought after acts on Europe's psychedelic rock scene, playing dozens of shows and headlining all the genre's major festivals. Since the album was a perfect blend of soaring and moody riffs, complemented by various sitar and organ tweaks, the pieces fused to create an all-encompassing journey that's still as effective today as it was on the day of the release. However, when the band started wandering in different territories to spread their sonic palette with Revelation & Mystery
, they've been backstabbed by those fans who were anxious for a second part of LDT
and refused to digest anything else. Even if as a whole that record isn't as memorable as the predecessor, it focused on certain musical aspects and improved them, thus paving the way for a more complex project.
Two years later, the long awaited return, Waiting For The Flood
, brings the best of both worlds. The members have all evolved in every possible way: the expansive instrumentals are carefully constructed even if they feel loose and Christian Peters' diabolical, wizard-like prophecies are at their most elaborate and processed yet. The title track portrays best all the improvements, starting with a laid-back jam, occasionally growing to a harder-edged groove, until the bass takes the lead and the pace changes, to reveal a cool, playful coda. The voice mostly follows the music, but it provides the necessary boost for the listening experience. The other tracks share similar structures, with multiple changes and variations, yet each has that something to keep it interesting. The effects-soaked middle segment of 'Shringara', interspersed with heavy riffing, is mesmerizing and once more the vocals take it to a different level, while 'Brahmin's Lament' features Eastern sitar leads that accompany the rather dissonant main rhythm before dissolving into an extended, feedback-laden finale. Every bit is carefully placed and constructed, so that it really creates a universe of its own.
Still, even if Waiting For The Flood
is a strong record that rivals the already classic debut, it feels more like a consolidation of strengths. There is progress in arrangement and the flawless delivery, however, you can't get past the fact they aimed first of all to please all the fans who weren't content with R & M
. They took the more immediate, heavier structures and gave them the initial format: slow starts with different layers and detours added. This way everyone would find something to enjoy. In other words, they started with a broad vision, but at some point decided to retrace their route back to the comfort zone. Nevertheless, the result is impressive and the aforementioned detail is more apparent and important to those who still can't get over Long Distance Trip
. This record manages to truly stand on its own and one can only hope Samsara Blues Experiment continue to drop such high quality in the future.