Review Summary: Grab thy backpack and hitchhike your way through the galaxy.
One of Europe's craziest and coolest bands returns with the second part of a trilogy started three years ago, under the main title of The Death And Resurrection Of Krautrock
. The first saga, AUM
, started as a shift from the noisy, hellish tunes, which actually involved some complicated musical patterns drowned in a constant wash of feedback, solos among other effects and instruments. With IO
, we finally get to the gist of the series, finding what this new direction is all about. The result? This might just be the best record Seven That Spells have put out so far.
The free-form psychedelia receives here a more (audibly) defined structure, whereas the twangy guitar features some mesmerizing Balkan rhythms interspersed with wacky solos and moody passages. The two songs bookending IO
, 'In II' and 'Out II' are perfect examples of magnificent, twisted riffs that jump all over the scale. Even though these are constantly repeated, STS have found some of their most charming chords and leads to hypnotize you. Spicing things up, there are slight changes such as spontaneous tempo shifts or sparse keyboards in the background, that are only meant to enhance your listening experience.
The introduction of vocals on the two opuses, 'Io' and 'Burning Blood' is one of the best choices STS could have made. It really boosts the whole adventure, while expanding a rather new and fresh side of the band too. Moreover, the mid-tempo grooves backing the lovely chants create a misty atmosphere that echoes Master Musicians Of Bukkake. You can only imagine yourself crossing the mountains like a nomad in the middle ages. This approach was first used on 'Stara Planina (Slight Return)' off Cosmoerotic Dialogue With Lucifer
back in 2008, yet the formula feels more authentic and at home on IO
since the band focuses on melodies this time. Also, the addition of somber synthesizers and loose passages help build that thrilling vibe instead of a cathartic one (which wasn't bad at all in the first place!).
makes for an excellent detour from the usual sonic insanity that characterizes their output. The guys still include some those trademark noisy guitars, however, there is a lot more room for grooves that are very interesting and a lot more digestible. So far, this trilogy has become a defining one for Seven That Spells, creating some of their tightest tunes yet. With this newfound inspiration, we can only hope the final part goes even further down this path to create something even bigger and better. Recommended for everybody who's new to the band and especially into psychedelic music.