Black Space Riders – Refugeeum

Rating: 4.5/5
Distributor/label: Cargo Records
Released: 2015
Buy Album [URL]: Bandcamp
Band Website: http://www.blackspaceriders.com/

Black Space Riders - Refugeeum Black Space Riders – Refugeeum

Band Line-up:

Vocals/ Guitars – JE
Guitar – SLI
Bass -SAQ
Drums – CRIP
Vocals – SEB

Tracklisting:

1. Vortex Sun
2. Universal Bloodlines
3. Born a Lion (Homeless)
4. The Lure (Come with us)
5. Run to the Plains
6. Curtains of Death
7. Meleks Lament (Yazidi Tears)
8. Walking Shades
9. Ritual of inner Strength

Review:

While traditionally, and perhaps more superficially, meaning can be attributed to any record with thought provoking lyrics, when a record can make its essence perpetuate throughout it’s entirety it becomes something truly impressive. Refugeeum is album that will be remembered for the ease by which it is able to seduce the imagination into evoking strong feelings along themes such as the loss of ‘home’ and a willingness to survive, for its fluidity and its varied arc that leads you on a journey through each track, and through the record as a whole.

From the breathy and drawn out introduction, your eyes are opened to a world that is as sparse and barren, as it is enchanting and mesmeric. As vision then becomes clearer, the atmosphere cascades into something which is wholly more uplifting. Beats resonate with a playful quality throughout the record, and reflect a vaguely meditative spirit as they do so. Neat and often distorted bass-lines drive most of the tone, droning side-by-side intelligent work from the cymbals and kick drum. While the rawness of the rhythm adds a real feeling of depth to the empty space, subtle guitar tones and almost whispered vocals are draped delicately over precise moments to add ambience and exposition to the path that they lead you down.

Despite thematically having roots concerning (what the band have described as) the deep sorrows of mankind, each track in this experience is pervaded by an ethereal and existential quality with an atmosphere that remains positive and uplifting throughout. The songs are constructed from layers of simplicity that generates its own complexity, which remains as catchy as it is emotional.

However, with the bass being such a force in constructing the specific tempo required to make the allure appealing, perhaps what is more impressive is how the ambience also seems to transcend through the moments where, perhaps, that shackles are let off a little. The fruitful simplicity of the core beat allows for layers to be added or subtracted almost at will, and each moment is still just as compelling.

The closing track ”Ritual of Inner Strength” is as much of a successful isolated example of this as the opener ”Vortex Sun” is at re-starting the cycle, ensuring that this is an album that demands to be re-visited. Instead of having stand out moments or tracks, this is an entity of rigid constancy, that never once appears to have mundane in its vocabulary.

Review by Chris Brown
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