A sudden movement to the right jolts you awake, and you quickly upright yourself. You’re sitting in the back of a convertible traveling dangerously fast. Two hooded individuals occupy the front seats, their clothes torn. Something keeps you from inspecting their faces. One of them spares your curiosity and faces you, but only a dark void and two luminous yellow eyes exist where a face should be. It turns back around and cranks the volume on the radio . . .
I’ve been aching for some significant rock ‘n’ roll. Sonic Praise is the newest full-length from Philadelphia shredders Ecstatic Vision. Straight up, this roaring monster of a record exists to get you high; on life, substance (specifically of the green variety, by which this particular group and album are heavily influenced), and the sweet, psychedelic sounds of a band successfully channeling the ferocious spirits of Hawkwind and Black Sabbath.
This album is a colossal mountain of wailing guitars, booming organ, and throat-shredding vocals reminiscent of a more-awake Sleep (puns!); and the best part is that it’s catchy. More than a few guitar riffs on these songs rival Tony Iommi’s best, and I would never state that lightly. Maybe the best example of this is during the three part epic of “Astral Plane,” which is so jam packed with golden melodies that it’s mind-boggling.
Although being merely one of the best psychedelic rock records released in recent memory would be enough, these visionaries don’t stop there. These songs contain strains of subtle experimentation; squawking saxophone, glowing synths, and an expansive collection of percussive odds and ends augment everything. It’s captivating, and it’s wild. If you’re seeking immense psychedelic rock, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)