Vespero — Hollow Moon
(Tonzonen TON042, 2018, CD / LP / DL)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-03-13
Russian psych / space rockers Vespero are back with a new album, Hollow Moon. With its artwork, album and song titles, and music Hollow Moon is much like a Jules Verne story. The journey begins with “Watching the Moon Rise,” and an ambient amorphous drifting electronic sound poem as we await the launching of the spacecraft. Then the “Flight of the Lieutenant,” which I assume is the name of the spacecraft, ascends into the heavens and achieves earth orbit, a dissonant space rock jam that resolves into an exquisite instrumental with the always beautiful violin and sax solos. Burning the engines to leave Earth orbit, we have “Sublunarian,” a delicate piece with electric guitar and violin that evolves into a jazzy prog fusion much like early Alain Markusfeld. Now we have achieved trans-lunar injection and on our way to that cold hearted orb that rules the night, “Moon - Trovants,” another prog rock jam that merges Manual Göttsching’s Inventions for Electric Guitar with the Ozric Tentacles. Reaching lunar orbit, the Lieutenant flies over “Mare Ingenii,” a particularly eerie soundscape with hammered dulcimer and their signature violin solos. Upon landing the crew celebrates with the “Feast of the Selenites,” the highpoint of the album with Robert Fripp / King Crimson influences, dissonance, complex chords, and rhythms. The crew discovers passages into the moon and reaches their “Watershed Point,” a cinematic shifting series of electronic chords. Then they encounter “Tradigrada’s Milk.” And for those who don’t know, tradigrades or “water bears” are tiny water animals and the only animals that can survive in outer space. This seven minute instrumental is a quiet floating dream that turns into pseudo-cabaret music with a concertina. Our intrepid explorers soon encounter the “Space Clipper’s Wreckage” with prog jazz fusion alternating with some excellent cosmic space jamming. And the album closes with the retrospective “Watching the Earth Rise,” a return to an amorphous soundscape. All in all, another great album from Vespero.
Related artist(s): Vespero
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