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(44 min, Lizard)
TRACK LIST: 1. Arachidog 3:14 2. Facing the Seventh Mirror 2:15 3. Debiruman's Sunday Habits 4:01 4. Robot Rolls Rodeo 2:06 5. Mechanical Birth 2:45 6. Mechanical Growth 2:44 7. Nightwalk 7:17 8. Troiote 1:51 9. Sparkleland 3:17 10. Modulock 15:01 LINEUP: Lin - guitar Lan - bass Len - drums
Prolusion. In the booklet of their debut CD, the members of Italian trio MORKOBOT say: "We play what Morkobot tells us to play!"
Analysis. I believe Black Widow Records would have been happy to sign Morkobot, because the music of this band, as well as their worldview fully suit, say, the artistic strategy of that label. But their eponymous CD saw the light of day via the other Italian recording company, Lizard, and is something quite extraordinary for them. Well, all this is just lyricism, so here is more topical information. Just like that on Lizard's another most resent release, the eponymous Flora album, the music here is free of any influences, at least direct ones. In spite of this however, I am going to apply comparisons this time out. I just fear I'll be unable to properly describe the material otherwise (may the band forgive me for such a frivolity, as I burn with the desire to do that:-). So, having attracted a solid dose of my imagination while, I got to give another listen to the album, which resulted in hearing some echoes of Black Sabbath's "Master of Reality" and "Born Again", "Clouds" and "Wildhoney" by Tiamat, Voivod's "Dimension Hatross" and "Nothing Face", the first two albums by Pink Floyd, plus something from Hawkwind, Saint Vitus and Trouble, though there are no vocals on "Morkobot". One may say "What a bizarre cocktail! It's just unimaginable". Nonetheless, on more intimate investigation some certain connecting links can be found between all of the cited examples. Well, most of the first six tracks (the only exception being Robot Rolls Rodeo, which is intense and heavy throughout) combine typical Doom Metal constructions and those of atmospheric Space Rock, mainly just alternating the corresponding sections. Except for Debiruman's Sunday Habits, they aren't overly diverse and complex, though mainly due to their brevity. In any event, none is boring. The next three compositions: Nightwalk, Troiote and Sparkleland don't feature any repetitions (an understatement) and therefore find the band at their most adventurous. Doom Metal is out, the music gets closer to traditional Space Rock / Metal, and yet each piece (yes, the very short Troiote included) is abundant in fresh ideas, some of which are definitely new for the genre. I don't know by what reasoning the band was guided when making the last piece so lengthy. The 15-minute Modulock is a kind of minimalist psychedelic Rock, a set of variedly elicited sounds multiply layered on the initially set theme. Such a sonic experiment could've been continued ad infinitum, so I'd have better perceived its vehicle had it been at least twice as short as it is.
Conclusion. There are lots of expressive contrasts on "Morkobot", when moments of raw power suddenly replace those with softer, deliberate arrangements, and vice versa. To put it in a generalized sense, most of those considering Space Metal should find this CD an enjoyable listening.
VM: April 6, 2006
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