Friday 30 July 2021

Cosmic Reaper - Cosmic Reaper

Labels: Heavy Psych Sounds

Formats: Vinyl/CD/Digital

Release Date: 19 Mar 2021


1. Hellion

2. Heaven's Gate

3. Stellar Death

4. Wasteland I

5. Wasteland II

6. Planet Eater

7. Infrasonic

I feel like doom and psych have very much been missing from these "pages" recently. After trying to line up some 2021 release premieres with Heavy Psych Sounds earlier in the year, I gave up bouncing from person to person (in the hope of getting somewhere) and settled for what I had, which is still pretty good to be fair. That led me to North Carolinan (US) quartet The Cosmic Reaper and their 2021 self-titled LP. What sweetened the deal was finding out that the band includes a member/ex-member of mathcore favourites The Great Redneck Hope, amongst others. I mean, that's not the only thing but I've had a stressful afternoon and that's all I can think of!

I like Electric Wizard but they haven’t been able to hold my attention for long enough, which is strange because I love sludge and doom. Cosmic Reaper have been compared to that enigmatic UK band yet they differ more than you’d think. On opener ‘Hellion’, there’s a lot of groove as you would expect, but good old classic heavy metal guitar work and hypnotic, mainly clean vocals set them apart. When they do heavy, Cosmic Reaper does heavy really well and the ironically titled ‘Heaven’s Gate’ is a prime example in full flight, instrumentally at least. Once again, the almost druidic vocals ring out as rumbling and low bass/guitar riffs drive the tempo, and the atmosphere of the album down a darker path.

I’m in absolutely no doubt that this is the right record to be listening to on a Friday night, even if I don’t partake in the Mary Jane. I do have a glass of red wine though and savouring it while ‘Stellar Death’ plays is an utter joy. It also reminds me that I need more records like this in my personal collection. Will have to rectify that soon, if only for that grooving closing section. ‘Wasteland I’ is a slight departure in the sense that it’s somewhat shorter than the rest of the songs on the album; however, that’s no hardship at all because the musicianship on it is so strong. That’s what I like about bands like Cosmic Reaper. The fact that they’ve seemingly come from nowhere (at least to me anyway) and are still able to blow my expectations. They’ll blow yours too if you give them as much as a second of your time.

That previous song was entirely instrumental, but with ‘Wasteland II’ the band delivers a huge desert/stoner rock song with all of their bells and whistles added in for good measure. Everything about this album feels and sounds so assured, it’s insane to think that this is their debut full-length (though given their collective experience, it shouldn’t be!). Penultimate number ‘Planet Eater’ hints at something more cosmic and in some ways you do get that felling thanks to Cosmic Reaper’s psych influences, yet the heaviness is still there in spades. It’s the longest song on Cosmic Reaper and tempo wise it’s very much the slowest, which is no bad thing at all. Once again it’s heavily instrumental though the vocals within it settle back into the soothing tones of the album’s earlier songs.

‘Infrasonic’ is the final track here and much like the red wine, it’s gone straight to my head as the impulse to headbang is just too much. As I sit back and rejoice in the glorious tones I’m hearing, it’s hard not to feel the true energy of genuine, enjoyable music again, which is something I’ve probably been lacking over the last couple of months (purely due to my own state of mind and nothing else) . Cosmic Reaper have done a solid here. Hats off to Thad, Dillon, Garrett and Jeremy for being wholesome and awesome on this record.

You can purchase Cosmic Reaper on digital, cd and (multiple) vinyl pressings below:-

Cosmic Reaper -

Heavy Psych Sounds -

No comments:

Post a Comment