It has been well over two years since German heavy rockers Black Space Riders gripped the imagination with the acclaimed Refugeeum, just short of a couple from the release of its even more experimental and equally striking extension, the Beyond Refugeeum EP. Now the Münster hailing outfit has unveiled a new quest in their atmospheric space rock adventure through Amoretum Vol. 1, a release as mesmeric and seductive as it is invasively provocative and emotionally raw.
Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2010, Black Space Riders has persistently pushed and evolved their sound hitting an attention grabbing plateau with third album D:REI four years after the first. With Refugeeum the following year, Black Space Riders exposed new boldness and imagination in their enterprise, a more atmospherically evocative and fascinating tapestry of sound and craft which took their creativity towards a whole new landscape of exploration and suggestion. Amoretum Vol. 1, with Vol. 2 marked for release later this year, entangles all the attributes of the band’s already individual sound with a fresh breath of imagination. It is often startling, insistently captivating, and occasionally physically ravenous but throughout perpetually compelling.
Consisting of JE (lead vocals, guitars, keys, piano, electronics), SEB (lead vocals, keys, percussion, electronics), C.RIP (drums, percussion), SLI (guitars), and bassists SAQ (until Sept 2017)and MEI (since June 2017), Black Space Riders walks a world where “War, terror, displacement, destruction, rejection and nationalism dominate the headlines” with Amoretum Vol. 1, taking the listener into their darkest corners whilst enveloping them with the thickest trespass of shadows. The melancholy that lines each song is so thick you can almost peal it like skin but everything in word and sound comes wrapped in degrees of hope and solution, their suggested resolutions of compassion and peace as rich and inescapable as the dark they counter; the album’s made up title symbolizing “a protective garden and a germ seed of love.”
It opens up with Lovely lovelie, raw riffs and imposing rhythms in league from the first second surrounding the subsequent vocal agitation. Acidic melodies emerge to line the intensive trespass, a rhythmically driven groove invading body and appetite in no time too as the song stands over ears with almost bearish provocation while undulating spirals of cosmic light simmer and burn. There is a primal edge and urgency to the encounter too, a waking up of the senses and thoughts which by its final repetitive shimmer has attention firmly hooked.
The song slips into the waiting embrace of Another sort of homecoming, a calmer but no less dramatic climate of enterprise and adventure with its own undercurrent of volatility. As melodies soar and the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll rumbles with ear gripping hooks embroiled in the theatre, vocals match their stirring unpredictability and adventure. Again ears and attention was baited and trapped, a hold soon intensified by the outstanding Soul shelter (Inside of me).With its post punk nurtured heart, like a mix of Joy Division and The Sound encased in the dark throes of the rhythms, the song is sheer captivation. Its air and touch is low-key but with that ever present tempestuousness which subsequently boils up into a blaze of emotion, intensity, and creative drama.
Its rich triumph is soon matched by the hypnotic lure and magnetism of Movements. With ripples of crystaline beauty in a well of melancholy, the song glistens in its dark; vocals again managing to echo the musical web. Menacingly meditative with a dark brooding to its rumination, the atmospheric tone of the encounter builds and builds until escaping in a composed avalanche of intensity and virulently catchy urgency. The track is superb and with its predecessor the pinnacle of Amoretum.
Not that the dramatic and volatile squall of Come and follow lingers in their shadow, the track a cyclone of rock ‘n’ roll which ebbs and flows through dissident calms and corrosive quakes within a brew of caustic punk, voracious rock, and searing psych rabidity. It all colludes in another lofty peak before Friends are falling creates its own tempest of dirty riffs, corruptive rhythms, and psyche infesting grooves. It maybe misses the spark of the previous trio for personal tastes yet nagged and insisted on greedy attention willingly given to its almost convulsive saunter.
Fire! Fire! (death of a giant) surrounds ears with psychedelic temptation within a funk kissed stroll next, an infestation of hips and feet as inevitable as that of ears and imagination as it builds up into fiery crescendos and combative expulsions of defiance. As throughout the release, the guitars cast a web of threat and seductive temptation while rhythms prowl and launch with inventively infectious antipathy; traits similarly involved in the great vocal union and balance of JE and SEB.
The album closes with Fellow peacemakers, a song which we will admit slowly burned in the psyche and passions compared to its companions but seeded real temptation from its first journey from a shadow bound reflective croon to a ferocious deluge of energy and attitude. Melancholy bred keys and vocals initially lure ears and thoughts, lively rhythms courting their company until a whisper of peace seeds an impending tempestuous stomp of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll as addictive as it is acerbic. As mentioned it took time to get under the skin but that it did with real voracity to match every other moment of potency in the exceptional encounter.
Amoretum Vol. 1 leaves a real hunger for more and an impatient anticipation for its successor whilst Black Space Riders once again leaves ears and imagination basking in adventure which just gets bolder, bigger, and better.
Amoretum Vol. 1 is out now @ http://www.blackspaceriders.com/shop or https://blackspaceriders.bandcamp.com/album/amoretum-vol-1
Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018
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