"Queen Elephantine is a group of young explorers in the world of heavy psychedelia, and ‘Surya’ is their first full-length, coming hot on the heels of various split releases and such in the past year or two. ‘Surya’ is a long, contemplative trip into the world of inner visions, a journey in which the devotional merges with the visionary to stake out a unique corner of the musical underground.
‘Surya’ begins with ‘Queen Elephantine,’ a lurching, meditational drone with plenty of heavy, distorted bass; a recipe the group uses to its advantage throughout the album. The song builds very slowly, offering visions that are somehow relaxed yet filled with anxiety, bringing to mind a space voyage with a crash landing on a far planet, where the alien sands drift quietly over blurry shapes both bizarre and sinister. ‘Ramesses II’ is a desert mirage of jerky military rhythms and monks offering devotional chanting that builds into the wails of lost souls. ‘Plasma Thaw’ is more rawkin’, while the 27+ minute ‘Bison’ is as thunderous as its namesake, with leaving-the-rails blues-based thrashing reminiscent of English cult doom/sludge outfit Ramesses. This tune pushes Queen Elephantine territory out further, with various plodding sludgy riffs creating a claustrophobic blues hell colonized by nasty Tibetan demons of every description.
Lovers of heavy psychedelic doom or drone as manifested by groups as wide-ranging as Sleep, Acid Mother’s Temple, Mammatus, YOB, and even ‘Saucer’-era Floyd should climb aboard with these young musicnauts. It’s not a comfortable or easy trip by any means, but it will reward your (lysergic) attention."
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