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Combat Astronomy - Flak Planet CD (album) cover


Combat Astronomy



3.93 | 10 ratings

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4 stars Combat Astronomy's albums which I've heard all have one thing in common; no matter what else may be present in the band's instrumentation, the crushing, Meshuggah-esque bass and drum interplay which first drew me to be a fan of the group's previous album is still around, and still going strong. That's about where the similarities to Meshuggah end, though. Along with the crushing bass and drums, we're presented with some very interesting free-jazz horn action and some spacey sounds (keyboards, electronics, etc.?). The album is entirely instrumental this time around, no vocals (either wordless or with lyrics) anywhere to be found.

The music on display here calls to mind such groups as Zu, Magma, Meshuggah (I know I've already mentioned them), and could most simply be described as brutal avant-jazz rock/metal. The group's got a formula figured out which works well for me, seeming to meld together bits and pieces of styles from various groups I enjoy, while leaving out some parts which don't quite appeal to me as much (Meshuggah's vocals, for instance). As a bassist and general fan of rhythm sections, I personally LOVE the bass and drum intensity displayed within the music on this album. Polyrhythms abound, the bass has a nice, chunky distorted sound going for it, and together they lay a rock-solid groundwork for the wind instruments/keyboards/etc. to do their thing over.

I'd definitely recommend this album to fans of any of the above groups, especially fans of Zu and Meshuggah, along with any fans of fuzzed-out, distorted, heavy bass. That's one element which you must enjoy, because it will dig its way into your brain one way or another. Another advantage to enjoying this album is an appreciation of free/avant jazz horns, including squonking sax. If you enjoy both of those elements, then I'd highly suggest checking out Flak Planet. Not a flat-out masterpiece, but still a very solid 4-star album.

SaltyJon | 4/5 |


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