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Amplifier - The Astronaut Dismantles Hal CD (album) cover




Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.87 | 57 ratings

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4 stars The bold,adventurous and atmospheric new offering from Manchester,England's Amplifier,whose line-up consists of Sel Balamir(guitars and vocals),Neil Mahony(bass) and Matt Brobin(drums), is a six track EP titled The Astronaut Dismantles HAL and is clearly influenced by space voyage in more than just the title. The guitars and atmosphere in the songs also have a very spacey feel.The six songs on the EP stretch to almost 40 minutes with opening track "Continuum" taking up nearly nine minutes. With thundering drums, underpinned by a steadfast bass line, Sel Balamir's vocals stand confidently on top allowing his cinematic guitar playing to complete the mix and leave the listener with more of a visual interpretation of what they are trying to convey. "Into the Space Age" starts off with some synth and brings more heavy guitars to the fore as the song builds. That really is how the EP fleshes out. Songs begin with a little atmospheric riff and slowly gets heavier and heavier."For Marcia" follows and is a slow,mellow,gentle song that is highly evocative of early Porcupine Tree."The Brain Room" is a short,minute long instrumental track,featuring guitar distortion and feedback and a little cymbal ride."Everday Combat" kicks off with a military snare drum pattern,chugging Zeppelin-esque guitar riffs,and a snaking hypnotic melody that grows stronger as it repeats,topped off with Balamir's smooth vocals."Live Human" alternates between laconic,brooding passages and bursts of heaviness,propelled by great drumming from Brobin and topped off with Balamir's contemplative vocal,and after an extended silence a beautiful semi-acoustic secret track emerges.Combining elements and influences from bands like PorcupineTree,Oceansize,Pink Floyd,Black Sabbath and Tool,Amplifier are a great new band and one I am sure we will hear a lot more of in the future.An excellent addition to any prog music collection.4 stars.

TheProgtologist | 4/5 |


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