. issue I : i .


. artist : the cosmic dead .
. album : inner sanctum .
. year : 2013 .
. label : evil hoodoo .
. grade : a minus .

Inner Sanctum

Glasgow behemoth The Cosmic Dead are joining up with new Sheffield-based label Evil Hoodoo for their ‘third album proper,’ Inner Sanctum. Initially a limited-edition cassette-only release, Inner Sanctum is a whopping 74 minutes of psych kosmische stew lovingly smeared over 4 tracks. “Gustav Björnstrand” comes stomping out of the gate first, nostrils flared. An insistent, throbbing campaign that pumps with all pistons, “Gustav” breaks for a cherry-on-top spoken interlude that somehow manages to infuse this hot ball of gas with an almost groovy swagger. Omar Aborida (bass) and Julian Dicken (drums) work it non-stop, hand-in-hand on all the levers and—without taking away from the whole unit—make “Gustav” theirs. “The Mass of Betelgeuse” redirects the compass up and out for a swirling interstellar joyride that manages to get you far past Betelgeuse while throwing in more than one launch sequence for good measure. It’s got purpose, destination, and multi-colored drive, but “Betelgeuse” works at its own pace (almost patiently in some spots) without sacrificing the mission. This is certainly not a one-way ticket, and certainly not a straight line … don’t forget to look out the window … and keep your belt on as you slide into the title cut, where the journey turns inward for another pulse-based sojourn, throbbing itself into a fiery lift-off that keeps the heartbeat steady and the motion moving forward. Something this formidable and outer-bound is going to leave a vapor trail of some kind, and “Hello, Satan” is proof. The Cosmic Dead shift the gears down for a calmer ride out than how we came in. It still carries their trademark weight, opting to roll rather than roil. You can look at it as the landing after such a long trek, and it does bring Inner Sanctum down from ‘on high’ with ease, showing that The Cosmic Dead can burn the fuel in more ways than one. But they make big sounds, regardless of the tangent, and if this is the landing, they still nail it down, sinking the pillars in deep. Though “Hello, Satan” closes Inner Sanctum in (inter)stellar fashion, the real key is in half of that title: this part of the trip is over, but they’re saying ‘hello’ to a whole new trip that’s bound to come, sending out recon vibrations to carve out the next space as much as feel it out. For as hungry as The Cosmic Dead’s sounds are, consuming planets as they go, they simultaneously fill the void left behind, creating a swirling vortex that’s as alive and expanding as it is all-consuming.

by Mr. Atavist