SPACE MIRRORS - The Street Remains

Space Mirrors - The Street Remains

6 songs
41:56 minutes
***** ***
Atomic Age

Bandpage

Itís only been a good month since I reviewed Space Mirrorsí last album Stella Polaris, the third and last instalment to their Cosmic Horror trilogy. Band founder and keyboard player Alisa Coral was so nice to send me a copy of the preceding EP The Street Remains which contains material recorded during the longplayerís sessions that didnít make it to the final album. The digital version comes with four tracks and can be considered an EP, but the CD version pampers the listener with two previously unreleased tracks that combined are as long as the preceding four shorter tracks.

The Street Remains begins with an extended single version of In The Blood, one of the tracks from Stella Polaris. This is one of Space Mirrors more straightforward pieces, and the EP version actually is only one minute longer, so that it is not that different from the later one. The next three tracks are probably what constitutes the biggest incentive to buy the EP: cover versions. First up comes The Ancient Ones, originally to be found on Morbid Angelís second album Blessed Are The Sick from 1991. While the source material is highly technical Florida death metal, Space Mirrors stay true to the metal sound but make it sound darker and more gothic. As both bands share a Lovecraftian background, it definitely makes sense to hear Space Mirrors cover Morbid Angel. Next is I Breathe, an apparently big hit for Swedish pop duo Vacuum in the late Nineties. I confess that I didnít know the original version, but once again the transition, this time from wave pop to goth pop, works incredibly well. I probably have never heard Space Mirrors in such a melodic mood. The final cover version is something for the ladies, as I doubt that they are more familiar than guys with the theme song from vampire TV series True Blood. Jace Everettís Bad Things is a country song, transformed by Space Mirrors into finest Southern gothic reminiscent of 16 Horsepower and Woven Hand.

The CD-only material feels a bit like the more experimental B-side to an astonishingly poppy A-side. Earth Gods Dance was already released on a digital-only previous EP a year or two back, but still hasnít lost any of its appeal. This is a six and a half minute long psychedelic head trip with strange, slowly wobbling synths. There is not much variety, the song is meandering through the strangest crevices in your mind, feeling like the sonic analogue of a potent drug trip. The concluding Rituals Of Shub-Niggurath is a quarter hour long psychedelic jam with distorted vocals, dramatic mellotron excursions and the crazy saxophone of Hawkwindís Nik Turner, a frequent collaborator of Space Mirrors. The best thing to do is to lie back and let it flow all over you.

Whereas Space Mirrors latest albums defined their very own brand of occult space metal, The Street Remains allows the international collective to show itself from a more playful side. The listening experience may not be quite as intense as what we have come to hear on the Cosmic Horror trilogy, but it is still a fun forty minutes, divided into a first accessible part and a second utterly psychedelic headshot that would make a Julian Cope proud. As always, Space Mirrors have proved that they are a very unique set of musicians that proudly do their own thing. Space rock, prog rock and even adventurous metalheads will be delighted.

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