Black Moon Circle are a three-piece Norwegian "spacerock" style unit, formed by Øyvin Engan (low end/vox) and Vemund Engan (cosmic axe) in 2012. The siblings were once in a local punk band but like many groups before them have found more pleasure in slowing, expanding and no doubt downtuning their oeuvre. Per Andreas Gulbrandsen is the guy bashing the skins. Probably smoking them too. Or eating them. Animal skins. Graaaaaah! I am Carnivorio!
There have been comparisons to Earthless but as I've never heard Earthless I wouldn't be able to confirm the accuracy of such a grandiose statement. So, this could be Earthless, right, but without the members, name, label, catalogue or songs of that band.
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Punks-gone-astronauts Øyvin and Vemund Engan are speaking in clear voices while procuring NASA-approved tones on ‘Andromeda’, the most absolute space rock thing you’ll listen to this year -- musically and thematically. Within minutes of their first song they’re conflating love with space travel, claiming “I explore the sky / and look at you” over laser-beam synth snippets, empty-dot-of-space bass grooves and howling riffs. They sound tethered and repetitive like the greatest of kraut acts, but that’s because there’s not much in our cosmos but emptiness.
On the basis of “The Machine On The Hill”, it’s clear that Black Moon Circle are storytellers of sorts, one of the only tripped-out psych bands capable of weaving linear narratives over their songs -- as if they were in a suave, hair metal David Attenborough nature doc. “Jack’s Cold Sweat” is much the same, driven by bold lyrical descriptors that occasionally explode into desperate scowls. The music does a good job of creating pathetic fallacy, guitars gearing up when the story does, but staying subdued when it’s going smoothly.
It’s a cheesy forty odd minutes of music, for sure, but the atmosphere is all-consuming: “Supernova” uses delicately placed cymbals and snare shuffles alongside a muddy, echoing guitar to great, morbid effect, while “Dragon” sees the band go into sci-fi folk territory, following the idea through to its logical conclusion: a psychedelic climax. Recommended if you want to turn on your axis.
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- Andromeda by Black Moon Circle
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