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Label: Black Throne Productions / Release date: 15th September 2023
A split album, two bands on one disc. Earth Altar kicks off the two band effort. Two Canadian bands put down an 8-song set. Excellent fantasy sci-fi album art is a draw. Sometimes, yes, we judge records by the artwork.
Earth Altar hails from the wilds of eastern Canada. A heavy rock duo fusing progressive and stoner rock into a fine-tuned (mostly) instrumental series of compositions. The percussion is forward. The influence by the legendary power trio from the great white north, is clear. The band’s song set is full of instrumental effects wizardry. A laid back, heavy vibe.
The intro track, “The Descent” is fuzzy, a hypnotic rhythm gaining momentum. Spacey sounds give a 70s prog feel. Dare I say it’s got some Steve Miller Band vibes. A slow smoke filled heady instrumental. Near three minutes into the track, vocals emerge from the haze. Matching the undulating rhythms. A slice of stoner/space/prog.
“In the Growing Light of Anthelion” follows a short instrumental, titled, “Interlude”. An apt song title. The music is an excellent accompaniment to a solar halo. Reminiscent of the “Signals” era Rush. It’s impressive the dynamism produced by the musical pair. Their musicianship stands out.
The first five tracks on Inter Terra Solis come from “Earth Altar”. In their one-track shy of a six pack, there are sporadic vocals. The weak link on this song set is the vocals. The music stands tall. The songs intertwine, creating a heady, space jam. For fans of experimental/ stoner bands, adjust the headphones and exit reality.
Next up…this feels like a live rock show. Btw, Earth Altar is no support act. These two Canadian rock groups gel nicely. A co-headline type of situation here.
“Sun Below” emerge from the northern metropolis Toronto, Canada. The group describes their sound, “heavy sativa rock”. This bud’s for you. The trio in their bio photo look the part. Throwback to the dawn of heavy metal, no bright neon colors, no hairspray. Big hair, bell bottoms and denim. Rock n roll purity. The band’s bio drops this description, long burning jams that worship at the altar of tone, riffs, and smoke.
The second act kicks off their three-song contribution with “Red Giant”. The lead track is standard issue no frills heavy fuzz. An 8-minute audio assault. I hear some Seattle sounds, think a Soundgarden jam session. This song is a long lost future/past time traveler. It fits on the Heavy Metal animated film soundtrack.
The middle track “Methuselah Star” reminds of “Children of the Grave”, amped up. Here’s the sativa sound the band talked about. A two and half minute instrumental jam.
The set sums up with “Gravity Tide”. Another 8-minute heavy fuzz jam. The vocals are haunting, in another realm than the music. Pummeling drums, hypnotic guitars weave a smoke spell. Hearing late 90s Bongzilla / Clutch hybrid. The song winds down with a pummeling barrage. One more song, isn’t much to ask.
Overall, the two bands offer a solid set of space rock. Two distinct styles pair well for fans of prog and stoner rock sounds. The split album is available in tangible formats, vinyl, and compact disc.
Find online: https://www.facebook.com/earthaltarband/