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11 Paranoias
Spectralbeasteries Harry Sword , April 24th, 2014 12:38

Formed from the still smoking embers of Ramesses – one of the greatest metal bands of our (indeed any) time - and also featuring former Bong member Mike Vest, 11 Paranoias was always going to be a weighty proposition. However, while undeniably elephantine, their racket is also chewy viscous; swirling and ramshackle, combining fierce volume, belting doom, freak-out passages, crackling samples and incantation drone in equal measure. Essentially crushing head music, SpectralBeasteries offers some of the most original jams to come from the modern doom continuum, adding a buzzing wall of freak noise to more classic metal/drone signifiers.

'Cygnus Rift' opens with a simple spectral doom riff, picked slow and laden with echo. The tsunami of volume colossal soon sweeps through however, layered feedback and distortion coming wave upon wave, with satisfyingly crunchy and vivid tones. And - much like Ramesses and Bong before them - 11 Paranoias music enables vivid imagery that connects with the sound, 'Cygnus Rift' conjuring visions of battling against some vast cosmic storm, Adam Richardson's double tracked vocal bellowing away like Thor calling last orders in the meadhall and Mike Vest playing a guitar tone of brutal weight; a true monger of the instrument.

But while 'Cygnus Rift' is preposterously, ludicrously, heavy, 'Guardian Of The Abyss' offers a more meditative take. The wall of noise production value is still front and centre; ancient amps pushed way past the red, but here Vest tempers the raw aggression with banks of effects, as hammy movie samples play in the background (something about 'conjunction of ye stars' and 'rituals to begin').

Groovy yet propulsive and direct, the track marshals the space punk energy of Hawkwind – a clear influence – to fine effect. 'The Ghost Projector', meanwhile, amps the tempo with fine wet cave drum work from the (now departed) Mark Greening and a bizarre selection of guitar effects that, this time, very nearly overturn the applecart altogether- great swathes of white noise; vast reverberating wahwahs; sounds layered thick as fog. This is music that teeters on the edge of complete disintegration; timings slip and imperfection reigns.

Classical doom styling is brought to bear on 'Turn To Stone'. A thuggish three -chord clodathon that sees Richardson's vocals almost entirely subsumed in the mix beneath an ever-encroaching wall of static and rumble. Weird samples buried (very) low add texture. 'Unseen Apparition' closes the record in simple style, slowing a vamped riff down to funeral dirge and adding a selection of hardy modifications.

11 Paranoias have thus set forth a marvellously twisted vision with this record; and if the idea of a system clash between Saint Vitus and Hawkwind conducted by a wildly gesticulating Conny Plank excites you, then so too will SpectralBeasteries. Because despite the morose ambience it simply teems with life, marshalling the crushing power of doom with an uncontained wigged out psychedelic imperfection and a sense of constant motion. Adam Richardson's production job also deserves serious credit, evoking a musical chaos both intuitive, live and brutally loud. Behold the monolith of the lost desert world; sway neath' the mighty astral storm; b'doomed or b'gone, b'gads!

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