Manchester’s Prophets of Doom, Dead Sea Apes, are back with another rocking 3 song EP, Astral House. Although it nixes the sampling of films by Alejandro Jodorowski (like they did on their previous EP, Soy Dios), Astral house still feels cinematic, with every note creating a resonating atmosphere that could very well be the soundtrack to images of barren landscapes and people with even more lifeless hearts.
The stricken lands forgotten by greedy barons are now a desert of carcasses and heat dried bones. ‘Bikini Atoll’ sets the stage, with a bass that won’t stay on one string and an expansive guitar only kept on Earth by a stomping drummer. Love the whammy freakout somewhere in this “gee, it feels like 3 minutes but it’s 8 ruddy minutes!” of a track. Actually, it’s near the end, by the winding out bit, so maybe the band decided to let the guitar man get his breath back.
Maybe they should allow the listener the same courtesy. ‘Astral House’ (cool name, btw), starts very atmospheric, with a pick attack that always spells “dreamy” in my books (and broken strings, if you’re as daft as me). This is a slightly slower number, flowing with the viscosity of molasses but the fieriness of magma. The bass is simply gorgeous in this one, switching from slow to fast to far beyond driven into terminal velocity. The guitar manages to catch up somewhere around minute 4 or so, although minute 4:20 might’ve been a better choice. This is my type of solo.
‘Dead fingers talk’ catches up whatever distance Dead Sea Apes and their prey had. Yes, I just compared them to maniacal, machete wielding assassins in a horror film. This is the point where the band play with speed: atmospheric, creepy start, fast moments with extra drama included, a minimalistic passage that creates a clear watermark between sections and then, a splendid, cinematic conclusion. Think of the final moments of a storm, where the air is still saturated with humidity, a few stray drops still are falling to their deaths and the sun seems to be peeking through the clouds, that’s what ‘Dead fingers talk’ feels like.
Another cracking 3 track EP by this band. Let’s keep an eye on them. No, seriously, they are armed and considered musically dangerous.