“In a boat black as a coffin between two ghastly bridges I had fallen asleep – The sun on my head had disappeared and the last star had been extinguished a long time before – Silence, muffled sounds of my soul.” Giorgio de Chirico, Geometry of Shadows
From free association to absolution of all earthly concerns, the psychedelic ritualistic jammed verve of Milan, Italy-based spaced n’ sinister rock band La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio intends to go somewhere, anywhere that’d receive their glowing effulgent imposition with shrieking open maw. Processing the results of their exploration and breaching the unknown allows a seeming unlimited range of benders to go on; The influence of wonder is alive in their work as the quintet brave the expanse of psychedelic doom rock tangents, electronic body highs and all manner of kosmische metallic spasm. The trip is that of crossed antennae, crudely spliced wires aiming their pirate signal between quadrants of space, spying on each other’s whalesongs of spiritual conquest as if space invaders stealing cable television from their unknowing, soon assimilated neighbors. ‘Trivial Visions‘ is a broadcast of doom in this sense, not in terms of sub-genre but rather the presence of menace in the back of the thousand-toothed throat of this beast which speaks to both cosmic dread and stoney sci-fi kitsch with every cough.
Though the long-established legions disagree more often than not in terms of what is new and next, I arrive as a brain in a jar loudly suggesting that psychedelic rock desperately needs fresh energy beyond communal haze, that the medium is too often heavily absorbent sponge unto chill escapism rather than a foil to reflect the bombardment of death rays that surround us. From death comes space, eh, I mean it is right there in the title for us to parse as intent and reference to both classic science fiction and horror in an age of wonder we now classify as naïve. Though I can posit a point of view as much as I’d like, I’m not sure La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio had found their laser focus when initially forming as a sort of improvisational event, sharing some reasonably effective prog rock infused psychedelic jams in live form circa 2017 (“Jam in Erba“) and in studio 2018 (“Fever“). The mixture of Giallo tension, ancient sci-fi soundtrack influenced soundscapes and gloomy space rock wouldn’t arrive until their debut album (‘Sky Over Giza‘, 2018) a feat that quickly evolved beyond watery and distant jams towards late 70’s synthesizer music which lands leagues short of “danceable” electronica. Drone, space ambient, theremin runs and soundtrack work were probably a bit too abstract for all but the most avid delvers at the time yet there were a few pieces that had a bit of rock in their craw for later digestion. The important context to glean from past works is that ‘Trivial Visions’ is directly related to those same points of inspiration but offers an entirely different experience, most will not see any major correlation between the first and second album in blind observance.
How does one go from referencing Tangerine Dream in one record and Oranssi Pazuzu on the next? Quite easily, actually, and there is some precedent in finding a vast array of classic and modern classic psychedelic music influences throughout ‘Trivial Visions’. We’re not at all reserved to the 1970’s and the reprisal of that affect in the 90’s but also teleported into present day psychedelic music for a pastiche of righteously inspired pieces. The extreme metal paced shock value is thankfully set up front enough to have gripped me immediately, with opener “Lost Horizon” offering a ~5 minute instrumental salvo featuring mega-buster charges and spongey endarkened psychedelic rock presenting some looming dread to prepare for the key title track “Trivial Visions” and its zip-along double bass drum galloped introduction. The song quickly reveals itself as the produce of a psychedelic blender, the results are ass-shaking rock by nature yet blasted forth via active genre-bending beats and over the top ear worming synthesizer collages. The spirited push of these programmed (probably) drums show the sort of rough edges I personally love most, those that serve a still-forming ambitious vision. Their sound when viewed within the vacuum of this piece feels a bit ancient in spirit while allowing for an emergent, future-jammed aura that immediately feels like an exciting discovery.
Theremin, flute, Magma, Argento and LSD offer a generally blissful void-collage to stare into beyond moments of great focus, such as “Cursed Invader” which I believe was the first single from the album. It is a bit of an outlier on the record for its retro vocal hook yet it fits into the greater experience as a reminder to stay engaged as each moment beyond the next bears some appreciable value, even beyond the sense of wonder that unpredictable moments bring. Where I found La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio shows the most promise is within the realm of psychedelic doom rock, the finest example being “Ashes” with its occult flavored guitar arrangement and intensifying pace, which’d reminded me of some of the more daring moments on Amon Acid‘s recent work. That isn’t to say that the worlds envisioned with instrumental pieces “Spectrometer” and “Oracolo Della Morte” don’t offer choice beats and stellarly psychedelic push but I tended towards the songs that featured vocals for additional presence, “Altered States” being the perfect marriage of forms while still allowing the wiles of their sci-fi synth rock adventure to be the main event.
What ultimately counts is how all of this comes together. Frankly speaking this sort of record could’ve easily ended up being a garbage fire if it weren’t for the boldness of La Morte Viene Dallo Spazio‘s choices in songcraft and an exuberant, rich blend of practical and electronic elements. Generations of avant-garde tradition blend here in meaningful ways, nostalgic yet present within the psychedelic continuum and without any prodding at all ‘Trivial Visions’ presented itself almost immediately as a wonder to dig into and an easy listen to leave on repeat and enjoy for its wildly detailed flow of ideas. A moderately high recommendation.
|ARTIST:||LA MORTE VIENE DALLO SPAZIO|
|RELEASE DATE:||March 26th, 2021|
|BUY & LISTEN:||Bandcamp [All Formats]|
Experimental Space Rock,
Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:
Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.