Spaceslug – Eye The Tide

If you want prolific, look no further than Polish psych fiends Spaceslug. This is their third album in four years, all graced by the greatest sleeve covers since Coheed & Cambria found the Milky Way and a monstrous roar that never gets tired.

Latest album Eye The Tide (BSFD) is six tracks of sonic invention, a heaviness governed by a massive rhythm section but graced by wondrous leadwork. Opener ‘Obsolith’ puts the weight of the world on the shoulders of a bearer who can still gyrate around a floor despite the import of such issues. Bartosz Janik’s guitarwork lightens the load in beautiful fashion, giving the perfect balance between lead and feather. His leads beg to be held like an abandoned lover, whilst the blend of titanic drums and atmospheric swirl adds an almost sexual euphoria.

Imagine all of that blended with the gentle seventies Americana of tunesmiths such as America, and you have the ensuing ‘Spaced by One’: a colossal yet rhythmic dance across the Nevada desert with Apollo and Apocalypse joining as one, the leads winding and seductive. ‘Eternal Monuments’, meanwhile, begins all light of air, yet pregnant with what’s to come. That onslaught, however, is initially delicate: even when bass and drums lick in it’s tantalising rather than brutalising, a commanding sway reminiscent of Yawning Man until the fulminating beast appears. Still, there remains musicality, as if Alice in Chains went doom: it’s unspeakable power mixed with doleful beauty in the most expressive, organic way.

‘Words Like Stones’ continues where ‘…Monuments’ departed a tune for the centuries, a hammering density holding a groove which shouldn’t carry this much passion. Here harsh vocals govern the delivery, words indeed dropping like rocks from the heavens amid an occasionally Blackened trammel, slowing to an acoustic coda that defies grace. ‘Vialys Part I’ and ‘…Part II’ set out toward a Grunge territory, an agonised paean against apathy: rain and omen bring in the anger and pain, gradually, until a squalling lead and ripping fire pits Ufomammut’s might against the raw emotion of U2. So intense it hurts, this is your every memory handed to you in nine minutes.

As if you can take any more of this assault on the senses closer ‘I, The Tide’ trots in with a dark rhythm, the subsequent crushing mass duelling with a lower end vocal evoking Layne Staley. The swell dictates the planets amid a phenomenal resonance, lead and bass skipping through the detritus of a World War in an abridged version of Inter Arma’s ‘The Cavern’.

It’s a bold statement but, within their own stomping ground, Spaceslug quite simply have no equal. Sticking true to the Doom template whilst ripping at every heart-strings, every synapse, ‘Eye The Tide’ surpasses even their own remarkable output and will reduce the staunchest constitution to tears…while raising its clenched fists to the Gods.

9.5/10.0

PAUL QUINN