Epidemie Records (2014)
This Polish space-doom album is a sometimes chaotic meeting of muscle, melody and madness. With its hard-rockin’, organ-driven progressive undertones, it’s a very different proposition to the music Gallileous once created.
Way back in 1992, the band unveiled a demo of raw, shuddering funeral doom called ‘Doomsday’. Since then, they have endured more than their fair share of personal tragedy, but, having reformed in 2006 with a new, blossoming stoner-ish vibe, the modern version of Gallileous focuses on chunky riffs rather than the bleak, anguished aggression of their past.
Having faced loss and grief, maybe they are now at one with the universe, finding solace in the endless mysteries of space. ‘Voodoom Protonauts’ certainly harks back to the likes of Hawkwind or Deep Purple, as well as the energy and atmosphere of a Kadaver recording.
The album’s solid production helps to naturally bring together the various complementary elements: the sturdy guitars, gleefully reverberating bass and clattering drumwork.
Some of the song arrangements feel slightly jumbled – there are numerous moments of brilliance, but they are not always explored to their full potential. Similarly, the vocals can be indistinct and meandering, lacking real power or precision. These two issues results in an album that is frustrating in places, but excellent in others.
The song ‘The Green Fairy’ is one of the standout moments; an uncomplicated and wholly entertaining composition with a catchy riff, sense of humour and resounding personality. The momentum builds, the music develops with tension and excitement and the song finishes on a high. Elsewhere, ‘Brand New Cosmos’ is a mesmerising intergalactic mantra, but the adventure loses some of its appeal as the song progresses.
‘Voodoom Protonauts’ has plenty of great moments, and is packed with impressive, creative space-doom. But it’s difficult to figure where some of the songs are supposed to be taking you. Maybe that’s the problem with launching into the unknown abyss of space – you never quite know where you’ll end up.