As a music aficionado, I’ve always found the idea of a regional ‘scene’ or sound endlessly fascinating. The early hardcore scene in southern California. The grunge scene in Seattle. The sludge metal of the American South. The desert rock of Palm Desert California. And of course, the UK doom scene.
Every one of these regional scenes produced a sound completely distinctive to the area, and in the case of UK doom, more often than not, I can guess if a band is from there ‘sight unseen’ or, more accurately ‘sound unheard’. This isn’t to say every band sounds the same, but there’s a certain, tone, a certain style and approach to songcraft that is almost completely unique to the UK, to say nothing of the mountains of riffs. All of this was immediately on my mind as I set forth to absorb Cosmogony, the fifth, full-length release since 2019 (!!!) from Leeds UK Amon Acid.
I had sat with Amon Acid’s Demon Rider EP prior to hearing Cosmogony, so I had a decent idea of what to expect when I dove into the complete full-length. Right off the bat, opener Parallel Realm gives us some trippy, in-the-forest synth, before unfolding into a walloping, effects-laden, middle eastern tinged, fuzzed-out riff-march. Instantly I’m struck by guitarist/vocalist Sarantis Charvas vocal delivery, as he sounds uncannily like a young Lee Dorian, to my ears, but as if sung through a wall of fuzz. The soaring flange effects are killer, and the plodding march from Smith’s drumming suits this track perfectly.
Hyperion is a massive, riff and drum, bash-fest that’s complete with howling, spooky noises, some deliciously fuzzed-out riffing from Charvas, that’s coupled with his harrowing Dorrian-through-distortion wail, and bassist Briony Charvas’ equally heavy & rumbling bass lines, and Smith’s cave-man bashing, make Hyperion an early album highlight.
Death On The Altar is a slower, trippy-er, affair, Charvas, Sarantis that is, sounding, dare I say, Adam Jones-esque in his note choices, as the band move along at a mid-tempo march. Charvas’ vocals are almost trance-like here, foreshadowing what’s to come, as the song is accentuated with flourishes of trippy effects, making this a well-sequenced palette cleanser.
super cool, super trippy, heavy psych conjured up on a different astral plane…
Demolition Wave, is a slow-burn riff monster that sets the stage for the mind-bending, swirling, heavy psych freakout of Nag Hammandi. Amon Acid do their best to put the listener in a narco riff-trance with this cut, and they most definitely succeed. One of the weirder, yet cooler tracks I’ve encountered this year. Mandragoras meanwhile is a big, heavy rocker, one of the catchier tracks on Cosmogony, and is sequenced well coming out of the mind fuck that is Nag Hammandi.
I had listened to Demon Rider a bunch, and this track is also a big, heavy, riff rocker, delivered with plenty of fuzz, and eerie vibes, with Charvas’ now familiar, Lee Dorian-in-a-distortion-box vocal delivery. Amon Acid eventually make their way back into super-trippy territory with the middle eastern tinged mind melt of Ethereal Mother. Once again, Amon Acid, with Charvas’ vocals and guitar are pretty effective at putting their listeners in a trance, as this is super cool, super trippy, heavy psych conjured up on a different astral plane.
Cosmogony closes with the massive, slow-burn, mind-melt of The Purifier. Sounding somewhat like Witchcult Today-era Electric Wizard, played by early Cathedral, through a psychedelic-era Monster Magnet vortex. The Purifier is a menacing, fuzzed-out riff monster, that takes the listener on one last crushing journey into oblivion. Killer stuff.
Amon Acid, while completely sounding like a UK doom metal band, succeed in adding their own psychedelic, cosmic alchemy to their sound, to make Cosmogony an awesome take on a well-known and well-loved genre.
Scribed by: Martin Williams