Terraplane - "…Into the Unknown"
From Aural Innovations #35 (January 2007)
Terraplane are a German quartet that play psychedelic stoner rock 'n roll. They've released several promos, a single and an EP since 2002, and "…Into the Unknown" is their full length released in 2006. The CD includes 7 tracks, some short and nicely compact songs and others lengthier excursions. And there's lots of variety so it's hard to pigeonhole these guys or lump them cleanly into any one genre.
After a short intro with voice sample narration the band launch into Orange Salvation, a classic Sabbath inspired stoner instrumental, with a great rock 'n roll groove and brief but killer guitar fills. Damn good for less than 3 minutes. "Once I Was You" and "Lower" are cool stoner psych vocal numbers that are like one part Sabbath to 3 parts Stooges. Very cool down 'n dirty heavy stoner psychedelia. "Moonflower Blues Pt. II" goes in a different direction, being an easy going melodic bluesy song that reminds me of Led Zeppelin's dreamier moments. A really nice ride that softens the listener up for the more classic stoner rocking style of the next track, "Mantra". But even when they're in traditional stoner territory you can tell that Terraplane are more rooted in 70's heavy rock than a lot of the more modern sludgy metallic stoner bands. Sure, "Mantra" has a throbbing bassline that rumbles in your chest, but it's that classic Sabbath vibe, and loaded with tasty guitar soloing… slow, simple, yet full of psychedelic passion and emotion.
"Black Mystery" is a short, pure blues acoustic song that throws a bit of a curve ball before blasting us with the album's 15+ minute epic title track. This track alone is worth the price of the album. Right out of the chute the band take off into psychedelic space, with bubbling and shimmering lysergic vibes, soloing trip guitar and sitar, heavy driving rhythms and ultra cosmic lyrics. It's a killer mixture of space rock fortified heavy psychedelia, trippy ragas and commanding stoner grooves. A supremely powerful track that jams hard in space, while allowing the composed song element to keep it on course. Fans of Zone Six, Liquid Visions and the like would flip over this.
In summary, I enjoyed the mixture of shit kicking rock 'n roll songs and longer jam tracks on Into the Unknown. The band is clearly strong with both, though the title track easily stands far and away above anything else on the album. I'd love to hear more from Terraplane.
For more information you can visit the Terraplane web site at: http://www.terraplane.de.vu.
Hear Terraplane at their Myspace page at: http://www.myspace.com/psychedelicterraplane.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz