Dazzling all with their guitar pyrotechnics and energetic tuneage, Ozric Tentacles have returned with yet another stunning sonic gem that blazes like an exploding star in the heavens.
OZRIC TENTACLES: Spirals in Hyperspace (CD on Magna Carta Records)
This release from 2004 offers 70 minutes of high energy space rock.
Joining Ozric regulars (Ed Wynne, Schoo, Seaweed, John, and Zia) are Merv Pepler (ex-Ozric and currently one-half of Eat Static), Brandi Wynne, and Steve Hillage and Miquette Giraudi (aka System 7).
It’s no surprise that this music starts fast and hard and continues with relentless appeal and flurry. The band’s creative spirit is highly infectious and peppers every second with ambrosial ecstasy.
The guitars burn with feverish passion, spawning riffs that mesmerize and impress all within earshot. Nimble-fingered notes coalesce into resplendent spirals that cavort overhead as if the sounds have been granted life of their own. Puissance runs high as the riffs combust into greater formations, growing in stamina and vigor with each passing instant.
The synths bubble and squeal, producing delightful passages of hyperactive disposition. An astral milieu is effortlessly accomplished, transporting the audience to nebulous vistas of glorious proportion. A fair degree of playful chittering reminds the listener of their human condition. forcing subliminal grins on every face.
More conventional keyboards inject a relaxing bath of twinkling chords and expansive sweeps that plummet out of the mix to rush by like a carbonated waterfall only to soar off into the sky leaving a gleeful trail of luminous sonic spray. More comfortably sedate periods are achieved with stately riffs that swirl like pastoral pools.
The percussion is masterful and resolute, generating crowded nests of rhythms to captivate and motivate. Even when the drums take an understated posture, their beats conjure enticing tempos that superbly spice that music.
The basslines growl like a gargantuan feline, feeding solid foundations to the sparkling melodies and providing a molten undercurrent for the surging music.
Flute plays a cameo role this time, flavoring only a few tunes with lilting pleasantries.
It is the awesome unity of these components that explains the true appeal of power of Ozric Tentacles’ music. Each instrument fits into a divine gestalt with each other as if the sounds were birthed in the same cosmic womb and charged with a sonic camaraderie.
There’s a vibrant progrock edge lurking in the music this time, seasoning the wild space music with a touch of earthiness. Although still omnipresent, Ozric’s giddy sense of humor is occasionally tempered with an affable gravity.
Longtime audiophiles will tingle to hear Ed Wynne’s fiery guitarwork conspire in tandem with Steve Hillage’s hyperspatial guitar stylings on the “Akasha” track. It’s also quite refreshing to hear Merv Pepler back with the band, if only on one song.
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