The Cosmic Dead – Inner Sanctum

Cosmic Dead do a simple thing, and in dong that simple thing, they don’t stop. There are 4 tracks, each clocking in around 15 minutes and believe me you will get sucked into a maelstrom and spat out the other side, like a wet pizza box lying in the gutter.

(Evil Hoodoo) http://thecosmicdead.bandcamp.com/

I nearly started this review with a little moan about the fact that, because of the over use of words like massive, or huge or awesome, you can’t really rely on them to confidently describe much anymore. Then I thought what the heck, stick to the positive, relish the fact that I instinctively thought, “this is massive” when hearing this boulder of noise crashing through my speakers and rolling round my room. Inner Sanctum is an absolute Goliath of a record, a juggernaut, a Behemoth, a Leviathan, a big, all-enveloping, powerful record, blessed with sacks full of “on the one”, out-there dedication to the cause.

Anyone can make a noise. And lots have ploughed this kind of furrow over the years, going right back to Blue Cheer, or Ash Ra Tempel. But Inner Sanctum is full of fried, enlightening rock and can sit comfortably alongside Tempel’s debut and in terms of what’s about now, is easily up there with the music White Hills are making. Inner Sanctum is also their best LP, and that’s quite something when you realise that their last couple of releases, especially The Exalted King, haven’t been shabby.

Cosmic Dead do a simple thing, and in dong that simple thing, they don’t stop. There are 4 tracks, each clocking in around 15 minutes and believe me you will get sucked into a maelstrom and spat out the other side, like a wet pizza box lying in the gutter. The provenance behind calling the opener Gustav Björnstrand is a mystery; but one, when confronted with this runaway tank of noise, a mystery not worth bothering with. This is a tremendously focussed racket; the guitars swoop and shimmer over the top of the grinding blackness that pours forth from the rhythm section. The sheer scale of it all can leave you giddy.  The second track The Mass of Betelguese gives some respite, you can draw breath on the slow ascent which sounds like a very early T-Dream track slowly growling into life. It blisses out for a long time, not really looking to do much apart from shred you with shards of guitar feedback. The supine state continues into the title track, but not for long as the coruscating razor-sharp guitar runs and an ever increasing tempo lead the track ever upwards into a complete and utter burn-out, Icarus style. Last up is Hello, SATAN, an occasionally reflective track which, when in its stride, spends a good quarter of an hour smashing all sorts of sonic limitations, all the while leaving a smouldering trail of feedback in its wake.

Akin to standing next to a jet engine, there are changes in tempo and mood and occasionally changes in key in Inner Sanctum, but be warned there are large slabs of music that also sound like you’re taking a 747 for a taxi. Not that that matters, as this is a hell of a record. Give it a spin.