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Lamp Of The Universe - Transcendence CD (album) cover


Lamp Of The Universe


Indo-Prog/Raga Rock

2.46 | 4 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars Lamp of the Universe is a project from New Zealand led by musical pioneer Craig Williamson, who creates psychedelic, raga-influenced music under this moniker. He has been making albums all by himself since the start of the millennium, with a sound ranging from acoustic dreampop to lengthy raga drones to spacey psych rock. 'Transcendence' is his 8th full-length production and it shows the decrease in quality that has been going on over his last few albums being set through, with six uninspired, quite uninteresting songs not really going anywhere. The style employed here is also not too interesting, a pretty basic psych rock/raga crossover.

'Pantheist' opens the album. It's made up of a classic psychedelic sound mixed with some unconventional instruments and a warm wall of sound. On itself it's not at all a bad piece, not very interesting either but still a worthy song.

Then comes the second track, 'Creation of Light', and what do we find here? This song sounds exactly the same as the first one. The same instruments sound the same(except for the addition of the recorder and synthesizer), the singing goes on with the same monotonous voice and the wall of sound keeps up with almost no variation. It's like listening to a seven minute mediocre song twice in a row.

The third song, 'Transcendence', again comes in with a similar slow, thick vibe, although it does have more prominent drumming that carries the song a bit better. On itself it's one of the better pieces on the album, just because the melodies are lighter and catchier, but it doesn't add much to the album as a whole as it basically just continues with the same sound that is used throughout the rest of it.

'The Sign of Love' is another slowly dragging composition with some interesting spacey effects, some nice acoustic parts and dark synthesizer lines, but for the rest of it it's just another continuation of the boring theme.

Luckily, there is 'Samsara Born'. In this song Craig only uses his voice and acoustic guitar and some sound effects to create a soft, minimal atmosphere. It's a necessary break from the constant wall of sound of the first few songs and has a positive effect on the album. It is, however not very good.

'Beyond The Material World' brings back the wall of sound and makes it thicker than ever before so that it makes for an epic conclusion. It's quite a pleasant song, has more power than the others and could therefore be considered one of the highlights.

Overall, Lamp of the Universe delivers a mediocre, boring release. If you are interested in this artist, I recommend you start with the earlier albums like 'Echo in Light' or 'Heru'. This album is only recommended for you if you are already a fan or desperately need some psych rock. Two stars.

twseel | 2/5 |


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