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Starless and Bible Black Sabbath

Acid Mothers Temple & The Cosmic Inferno

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Album Review

Starless and Bible Black Sabbath is the third album from Acid Mothers Temple to appear on the Canadian Alien8 label, but the first to appear in their new incarnation as Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno. Recorded March through May of 2005 at their home studio in Japan, this one is in keeping with the new band's commitment to "heavy coherency." The title and cover suggests two rock classics: King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black and Black Sabbath's self-titled debut album. The music? There are two cuts totaling a little over 40 minutes here. The title track, over a half-hour in length, begins with a crash, an echo, and a few moments of silence. Then another crash and steps in a hallway, succeeded by a gong ringing and pulsating for a few more moments, raising the tension. Then the steps again, many of them, before the guitar feedback of Makoto Kawabata and the Sabbath bass heavy sludge riff that dominates what comes afterward for the next 20 minutes or so. During this period, Kawabata is at his "most coherently" freaked out in his soloing. He's a guitar madman, bleating, screaming, wailing, and turning the instrument and its sounds inside out, and it never ever gets dull. Perhaps that's because Higashi Hiroshi's synths do such a fine job of laying atmospherics and noise over the backdrop and occasionally daring Kawabata to duel. The rhythm section, playing the same thudding riff incessantly through the entire thing, is hypnotic. There is a brief silence around 22 minutes with just Kawabata wailing, and then the plodding riff returns almost until the end of the track, which finally fades with Hiroshi's whirling synth. "Woman from a Hell," at a little over six minutes, is the Acid Mothers at their garage punk best, playing a hundred miles per hour, sounding like Gong crossed with Slayer. There are vocals by bassist Tabata Mitsuru, but they're indecipherable in the scree. The sound is like mud, overdriven to the breaking point by Okano Futoshi and Shimura Koji's insane drumming. Kawabata's solos are brief but blinding. But it's those drums burning a hole in your skull that make the track so utterly raw and grimy and incessantly intense. At the end, the listener is left exhausted but utterly satisfied.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

After performing with such bands as Toho Sara, Ohkami No Jikan, Musica Transonic, and Mainliner, Japanese guitarist Makoto Kawabata decided to continue his musical explorations by bringing together like-minded individuals to create trippy psychedelic freak-outs inspired by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Krautrock, and '70s progressive hard rock. Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. (Underground Freak Out) were founded in 1996 as a "soul collective." It's not a commune...
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Starless and Bible Black Sabbath, Acid Mothers Temple
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