MAJOR STARS "Syntoptikon"
(Important Records 089, 2006)

From Aural Innovations #36 (May 2007)

I kinda burned out on the stoner-rock/doom-metal scene a few years ago...and I guess there's nothing really that new to what these folks do, but the cosmic packaging caught my eye, and then the tunes pealed my ears, so I shall testify.

"Cinnamon and Lightning" kicks things off with nice blues riffing and a catchy Ozzy-type melody from singer Sandra Barrett, who sings muchly in the style of Budgie's Burke Shelley (whom I once though to be a chick himself). The epic "Collapsing" begins with another powerful melody from Sandra before the guitar-team of Rogers, Village and Leonard star majorly in a rousing jam of wistful Iommi-licks and beautifully intertwining leads that is truly stunning. "Fake Date" encompasses another deliscious vocal and guitar-melody bridge. (Not incidentally, bassist Dave Dougan and drummer Casey Keenan round out the combo nicely.)

"Black Road" is a classic catchy heavy-ass riff, like another long-lost Sabs outtake...whose feedback fades in a the finale barnstormer of "Syntoptikon", belching out more classic brutal power-riffs, though the chaotic guitar-blitz boogie is a tad overzealous...but then the reprise reprieves with the opening riffs again. Dig it.

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Reviewed by Chuck

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