Seven that Spells - "The Men From Dystopia"
(Beta lactam Ring Records 2007, m207a)
From Aural Innovations #39 (May 2008)
The latest from Croatian psychedelic monsters Seven that Spells features a meeting of the freakout masters, with guitarist/bandleader Niko Potocnjak bringing in Acid Mothers Temple's Kawabata Makoto to contribute electric sitar, tambura and hurdy-gurdy. The album starts off with a trippy acoustic guitar melody accompanied by Halleys Comet electronics. Chanting vocals, heavier guitars, drones and percussion soon join in, the whole thing bubbling and brewing, intensity building, until the inevitable explosion, and now we're soaring through acid drenched space. And when track II hits it's like Amon Düül II - Yeti: The Lost Tapes. No shit, this is very Düül-ish indeed. And the duo of Niko on guitar and Kawabata on sitar will keep freakout fans busy draining their drool buckets. It's an extended Middle Eastern flavored lysergic space trip that is pure mindfuck. (Are you getting the idea that this is psychedelic music?) The band jam on Ad Blisseum and do a stellar job of winding and weaving their way around their chosen themes in a way that is totally freeform yet masterfully controlled. When we get to track III the guitar takes front and center stage for some killer soloing, and now we're in Acid Mothers Temple territory with early Guru Guru influences at the beginning and the intensity catapults beyond the mercury bursting level. Track IV transitions to a tripped out drone and soundscapes jam (plenty of ripping guitar too), with what sounds like efx'd bagpipes blasting away. And track V goes even deeper into the demonic chant and drone zone. Focus your mantra on this and just when you think you've reached meditative nirvana…. ZAP! You're lobotomized!
Wow, nearly 80 minutes of continuous psychedelic mayhem and I was drained. I hope Kawabata's participation helps draw attention to Seven that Spells. Niko is a gifted musician and creates music that is unquestionably on par with Acid Mothers Temple. If you're an Acid Mothers Temple fan or anyone that appreciates stretched out psychedelic jams you are absolutely guaranteed to like Seven that Spells. Better hurry though because this is available in a limited numbered edition of only 500 copies.
For more information you can visit the Seven that Spells web site at: http://www.7thatspells.com.
Visit the Beta lactam Ring Records web site at: http://www.blrrecords.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz