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torstai 8. syyskuuta 2016

Megaritual - Mantra Music

White Dwarf (WHD06)

Megaritual is a solo project by multi-instrumentalist Dale Walker who is also a member of a psychedelic stoner rock band called Sun of Man. Megaritual has released two digital download solo EP's on Bandcamp, and this LP compiles most of both Mantra Music I and Mantra Music II and I must say I enjoy it very much. The first thing that came to my mind when I put the LP on was the brilliant Lamp of the Universe from New Zealand, another solo project from the same area. Like Craig Williamson, Dale uses bass, guitars, drums, sitar and dreamy vocals to create hypnotic, mantra-like psychedelic soundscapes that you can easily get lost in. Also the lyrics are of the cosmic, esoteric and Eastern / Hindu variety, so I would be very surpriced if Dale is not a LotU fan. Okay, there are lots of similarities, but when Craig leaves the heaviest, doomiest stuff for his other project band Arc of Ascent, Dale also incorporates that into Megaritual making it more varied in intensity. Craig of course uses a much more varied instrumentation including also synthesizers, which is another big difference.

Megaritual gets really HEAVY at times, and I'm sure fans of Om or even Sleep will like this too. Samsara Blues Experiment also comes to mind. But even when the going gets doomy and heavy, you can usually also hear the acoustic guitar or sitar in the background. The album includes eight tracks recorded in between 2014 and 2015, and I got to say I love them all. The shortest is the drone-like opener "Is the Heart of the Mystery" at under two minutes, and the longest the majestetic and magical "Tatt Tvam Asi" (8:23). Most of the album is pretty slow, trance-inducing and hypnotic, but the last instrumental track "Have You Seen The Sky Lately" is faster, and somehow celebratory, happier stuff with also some cool psych sounds. I get the feeling an Indian wedding party went crazy after somebody spiked the traditional wedding cake... Superb! This album is released in limited edition of only 300 copies on cool blue marbled vinyl and comes with a download code. Highly recommended! I hope there will be more (vinyl) releases by Megaritual soon.

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