|Electric Taurus's debut is a multifaceted beast that is hard to fully grasp in one listen.|
|OK, here is another one. Yet another of those bands that roll on the shore of the underground Metal scene like shells carried along by the neo-retro-bluesy-Hard-Rock wave. And, as happens most often in my case, I'm not too comfortable with such an album: I don't really know how to approach it. I also must confess this review is long overdue. Many reasons can explain why a review takes so much time to come out of your pen; honestly, most of them are false excuses (let's say as a primordial rule that laziness does not count in this equation)! However, the fact is a band like Electric Taurus really doesn’t make your life as a reviewer easy: 'Veneralia' is a multifaceted beast that is hard to fully grasp in one listen. Many times, I've had to meet their dense soundscapes, dip my ear in their rich broth and taste every nuance of it to finally be able to put words to the fluctuating feelings conveyed by the music.
One feature holds all the tracks tightly together, like a warm desert wind engulfing the album: it's the retro fuzz of the guitars, that grainy texture, blurred and raspy which conjures up old sepia photographs of a remote countryside, corn fields, old shanties and the edge of mysterious woods. All the usual gear of a Southern Rock band, you'd rightly say. But Electric Taurus don't play Southern Rock; it's Stoner Rock alright, even verging on Stoner Doom - at any rate, the 7 songs that composed the album sail along its dark riverbanks. The vintage moods the band gives shape to aren't a carbon copy of what bands like The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream or Deep Purple might have once produced (although those filiations, claimed by the band itself, are patently obvious) and that is where Electric Taurus stand out from the flock of the ever-growing neo-vintage Rock bands. Their psychedelic experimentations, most popular in the late sixties, are reviewed under the terms of what I'd call a very modern eeriness: an unsettling atmosphere that rolls and pitches gently under your feet. Reviewed and almost inevitably tamed: that is the immediate effect of the Doom factor that trails through Electric Taurus' heady music which could be reduced to the "science of dark groove".
If I spoke of "experimentations", that doesn't make Electric Taurus an experimental band; you won't be gaping with amazement at their clever melodic ideas - certainly not when compared to the flashes of musical brilliance of the late 60's, early 70's music. Far more, the band's psychedelic leanings are essentially expressed through the pessimistic vision of Stoner (Doom) – if I had to make a comparison, I'd say Electric Taurus could be seen as a mix between Kyuss, Colour Haze and Black Sabbath. These three guys are from Europe, Ireland, not from the United States of America, and you can definitely hear that in their melodic lines: they are more subtle and have more refined manners than the greasy, blaring tunes of North-American Stoner bands (Corrosion of Conformity, Clutch, Red Giant etc).
'Prelude To The Madness' is a fine example of the band's ability to craft an exciting song: the opening riff is thick and crushing, then it withdraws to give room to an unexpected, groovy, almost cheerful guitar tune before the singer indulges himself in a raging, possessed performance very inhabited by the lyrics ('I wanna hear you scream, I wanna see you bleed'); the following part of the track shows extreme topography: wah-wah effects, psychedelics, otherwordly electronic bip-bips, undulating chords… It's a venomous jam full of subtle shades. If each motive is, in itself, not complex, it's the intricacy of the whole that gives the tracks their thickness, a density you could find hard to tame at first. There are many ruptures within the rhythms, and none of the songs resemble a long tranquil river. As a matter of fact, if every river ends up in the sea, with Electric Taurus at the helm, you might as well land on Mars, or sink into the bowels of an obscure world.
To conclude, I can see a bright future ahead for Electric Taurus, they manage to harmoniously combine heaviness, prog-iness, psychedelism and, to top it all, throw in the mix a welcome dose of darkness. A great band, they are.
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2. A New Moon
3. Mescalina/If/At the Edge of the Earth
4. Two Gods/Caput Algol
5. Prelude To The Madness
6. Magic Eye
Duration : Approx: ?? minutes
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