SPACE MIRRORS - The Other Gods

Space Mirrors - The Other Gods

9 songs
55:53 minutes
***** ****


International space rock collective Space Mirrors under the guidance of Russian composer, guitarist and keyboarder Alisa Coral may not hit everyoneís nerve with their idiosyncratic take at a quit unusual rock / metal hybrid, but that at least everyone should agree that the eleven musicians featured on the bandís fifth album The Other Gods are anything but slackers. One year after their last album In Darkness They Whisper, which was the first in the bandís Cosmic Horror series inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, Space Mirrors continue in that same vein, relying more on concise songwriting than on instrumental meanderings as was sometimes the case in the past.

Basically The Other Gods is the logical successor of its predecessor, and also just as good, except that the huge element of surprise from last time is therefore lacking. But that shouldnít disturb, because another such improvement would have been otherworldly.

The album starts with Stranger In The Mirror, which instantly shows what to expect of the current Space Mirrors line-up. This short track is the only one below four minutes and offers straightforward space rock with a very gothic touch, thanks to the vocals of Martyr Lucifer of Italian black metal band Hortus Animae. The drums may be a little lost in the mix, but nevertheless the performance by Claudio Tirincanti who used to play on solo albums by Blaze Bayley and Tim Ripper Owens is still quite impressive. The following The Nameless City is nearly seven minutes long and thus one of the longer tracks featured on The Other Gods. It starts very meditatively before turning into a hypnotic piece of music with quite a dark, threatening vibe. More light-headed fare comes with the shorter She Devil that once again concocts a weird gothic space pop rock mix, before we get a first true highlight with Frozen City Of Cubes And Cones, which features Hawkwindís saxophone legend Nik Turner, who - it needs to be reminded - has worked already in the past with Space Mirrors. Itís here where we first get some more progressive elements in addition to the trippy space rock parts. Two more concise tracks, (The Case Of) Red Book and Strange High House are next, where the former ends with a rare vocal performance by Ms Coral herself, and I can tell you itís a pleasantly scary experience to hear her effect laden voice, and the latter comes close to being a ballad, with a serene flute part by Nik Turner. Times Unknown is ten and a half minutes long, and thus the albumís magnum opus where the band shows itself from its more progressive side. The final two tracks The Other Gods and Doom Of Sarnath, which both make it over six minutes, are very dark and full of imminent danger, concluding an album that once again surprises with its unexpected variety. Especially the title track is positively weird with unusual instrumental parts that reminded me of very stoned Amon DŁŁl II.

Space Mirrors are mostly a space rock band, of course, but elements of progressive rock, gothic and doom metal are also an integral part of the mix. The collective can be dark and gloomy, but isnít afraid to sound far out trippy and sometimes even catchy or in rare moments pastoral. It speaks for the musicians that the final result still sounds astonishingly homogenous. The only slight flaw is the strange production which of course gives the band its very unique sound, but also might make access to their music a little daring for the uninitiated. But I still suggest you give them a chance. Their mystic music will not leave you indifferent.

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