Arc of Ascent - "Circle of the Sun"
(Astral Projection AST007)
From Aural Innovations #41 (October 2010)
Arc of Ascent is the new project by Datura/Lamp of the Universe main man, Craig Williamson. He plays all the instruments except drums (John Strange) and lead and rhythm guitar (Matt Cole). I always liked the Kyuss inspired Datura and also his psychedelic solo project Lamp of the Universe, so when I heard he had made another heavy rock record, I ordered it! While Datura was very influenced by Kyuss, this does not really remind me of Kyuss. Sure it is heavy doomy, stoner rock stuff. The opening track, Universal Form, starts with a pretty crushing riff and a powerful vocal with some slight delay on it. The middle section has a slightly mid eastern inspired guitar solo before going back into the heavy riff. Cosmic Eye is next and also some heavy pummelling for the next 7 minutes as the doomy stoner ride continues. The bass and bottom end sound is really excellent on this CD. Matt lays down a pretty cool spaced out guitar solo on this track but too short. The Inner Sign takes us out on an over 9 minute trip. It starts very slow and spacey before the monster riff kicks in. They mix in some different psychedelic parts in this track but the riff they use is very similar to the opening track riff. Time for a change of riff and change the pace as these three tracks are all about the same speed. Absolution in Light sounds a lot like the other track now. He sings in the same style and delivery and the record is all sounding too much the same, sadly. Absolution has a more melodic guitar line during a few times but they return to the same, now tired riff, instead of taking that new fresh direction where they could have gone. The guitar break is a bit longer in this track which is good as they are best when they are spacing out since they don't have a lot of variety when riffing. Godhead starts off quite noisy and spaced out and is a bit of a faster track and it will have you banging your head a bit. Master of the Serpents is the most psychedelic track with some keyboards in the intro, sitar, and other instruments mixed into this long 9½ minute heavy riff rocker. A pretty cool CD but some of it is too much the same.
For more information you can visit the Arc of Acent web site at: http://www.myspace.com/arcofascent
Reviewed by Scott Heller