Sometimes an album comes along and catches you completely off guard. I've been a fan of Ufomammut and their label, Supernatural Cat for some time but I only recently was alerted to Incoming Cerebral Overdrive(I.C.O). I had been anticipating the latest Ufomammut album greatly, but "Le Stelle:A Voyage Adrift" is worthy of equal excitement and praise.
Controverso, I.C.O's last album was mostly an sludge/psych tinged mathcore affair, furious and brilliant they've developed and expanded the outer limits of their sound on this latest album.
They have now delivered a stellar album full of angular riffs, psyche textures mind altering experimentation and above all pummelling songs.
The sounds crafted are mesmeric, songs grab you pining you to the wall screaming before spinning you round the room. Drums and bass prod and sprawl, riffs churn out with relentless abandon.
Vocals are almost an extension of the instrumentation, at times aggressive, melodic and almost demonic in the same song. There is also an incredible sense of direction present amongst the madness. Only one song strays past the 5 minute mark but what they achieve in the relatively short songs is enough to melt your mind while also managing to flow cohesively.
Opener "Mirzam" kicks things off with a powerful spiral riff, low end bass and synth effects. It quickly shifts into overdrive, pounding its way into your brain. If your heads not nodding in approval already, you should probably check your pulse.
"Sirius" enlists psychedelic swirls of synth, mixed with a heavy sludge groove. Cosmic passages blend with dexterous drumming before pile-driving its way to a climax.
By now I was already blown away, the combination of murky rhythm, off- kilter riffs and spaced out effects ticking all my boxes rendering me in a sludge filled euphoria.
"Betelgeuse" continues the theme, showcasing their dexterity with their instruments, heavy moog stabs crushing your senses. The opening catchy riff, giving way to another journey through muti-dimensional dynamics and power.
"Kochab" is next beginning with a delicate melody soothing the battered eardrums before a massive chugging riff explodes and the assault begins again. One of the more straight ahead heavy songs it still sounds like little experienced before, Samuele Storai turning in a man possessed vocal towards the end."Adhara" is bruising, spaced out riffs and rhythms that crash and collide, It finally relents with waves of eerie synths before finishing in furious fashion, brain left oozing from your ears.
The ability to produce track after track of unique and relentless music cannot be understated. This is one of the most enjoyable albums I've heard in a long time.
"Pherkad" is monolithic, dense rhythm with an unforgiving delivery, wails of feedback and distortion close the track out.
Next up "Sirius B" has a space- punk feel, with a Brent Hinds sounding vocal, fans of Mastodon and Dillinger for that matter could find much to love here. However I.C.O stand proud in their own right, few bands are making barrier pushing music this heavy, mind bending and relentless.
"Poloaris" sees a slower pace but again stunning vocal growls and echoing guitar parts. It finishes with melodic choral like vocals and swathed in synths.
"Bellatrix" has a pure rocknroll opening riff and is one of the most catchy songs here, while maintaining the general spacey feel. Compelling, driving and above all rocking, destined to be a favourite of their live act.
The ten minute "Rigel" closes the album, musically it feels like an epic voyage through time and space, battles raging, armies of alien species marching forth singing battle hymns of distant galaxies . A soundtrack to an unwritten Sci-fi cult classic, which in turn could apply to the whole album.
ICO have delivered another contender for my album of the year list, a stunning piece of multi-layered genius. If your unfamiliar with Supernatural Cat records their bands and collective endeavours this could be a great introduction.
"Le Stelle:A Voyage Adrift" will be released through Supernatural Cat on May 7th. Controvesro is available now in good independent stores or direct from Supernatural Cat on the links below.
Supernatural Cat Records