For this latest opus, the Norwegian psych-metallists push the prog-rock boat all the Topographic way out, with a (vinyl) double-album containing one long track per side – albeit a four-part suite for the title track.
Unfortunately, having pursued any number of stylistic byways since their inception in 1989, here they revert to their core business of loud guitars piled on even louder guitars, allied to the furious pummellings of new drummer Kenneth Kapstad. The result is an enervating flabbiness in the case of the 21-minute title-suite and the ensuing 11-minute "Year Zero (a Damage Report)".
Punchier riffing improves the 15-minute "She Left On the Sun Ship", but the inevitable longueurs becalm the piece. The best track is "The Alchemyst", which shifts from West Coast harmonies to chugging motorik before eventually phasing away right up its own fundament.
Pick of the album:'She Left On the Sun Ship', 'The Alchemyst'
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