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Comets on Fire - Blue Cathedral CD (album) cover

BLUE CATHEDRAL

Comets on Fire

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.13 | 27 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Speesh
5 stars Ahh, this is where Comets on Fire's new direction really takes hold and creates something irreplaceable. This album is far removed from their first two albums in many ways. For one, Ben Chasny (of experimental folk project Six Organs of Admittance) was made into a full member the year before this recording. Another important change is the introduction of keyboards, a change you wouldn't expect upon hearing their first two albums.

The album starts off with the great The Bee & The Crackin' Egg. In the first few minutes of this song the band strides on familiar grounds, starting off with an echoplex explosion we've come to expect from Noel von Harmonson. The heavy guitar riffs and always fantastic rhythm section along with the reverberated vocals of Ethan Miller are there as well. The band shows their newfound progressive tendencies on this song when it slows down in tempo about 5 minutes in. The echoplex disappears and we're left with the light dual guitars of Ethan Miller/Ben Chasny being carried by Utrillo Kushner's laid-back drumming for a while. The song increases in tempo again and explodes at the end with more echoplex and frenzied guitars. The song's superb, and the others are just as good.

In Pussy Footin' the Duke, the band surprises again when Noel von Harmonson drops the echoplex completely and replaces it with keyboard. With this track, the band shows us for the first time that they don't need to be energetic to be great. Their new quieter sound on songs like Pussy Footin' the Duke, Organs, and Brotherhood of the Harvest are just as good and progressive as the high-energy songs like The Bee and the Crackin' Egg, Whiskey River, The Antlers of the Midnight Sun, and Blue Tomb. Also very notable is Wild Whiskey, where they seem to strike a perfect balance between both sounds. It starts out loud and powerful and diminishes by the end, but throughout the song it captures a strange and foreign sense of beauty. Comets on Fire is definitely creating a strong atmosphere on Blue Cathedral, and Wild Whiskey displays it perfectly.

An essential prog album to say the least. Recommended to all, but especially to fans of louder psychedelic music and space rock. For those who aren't into noisy music their next effort Avatar is worth checking out prior to this one. The rough sounds of this album were hard for me to get into at first as well, but persisting certainly paid off as its now one of my all-time favorites.

Speesh | 5/5 |

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