There are a few nights a week that I go outside at night and stare into the sky, usually comfortably high, remembering the people and creatures in my life who no longer are here with me. It’s not necessarily a sad thing; it’s perspective and a remembrance of the beings and things that have helped me get to where I am and develop my personality and empathy.
Long-running doom warriors Acid King, 30 years into their run, and on a similar journey with their great new record “Beyond Vision,” their first full-length in eight years. Yes, it’s been a while, and Acid King never have been the most prolific band over their time together, but it still feels familiar visiting these expansive seven songs. What’s very noticeable is that the band—vocalist/guitarist and band force Lori Joseph, guitarist/keyboardist Jason Landrian, bassist/synth player Bryce Shelton, drummer Jason Willer—delves heavier than ever into psychedelic planes and lets you mind go along with it. Joseph says as much in the bio materials for the record, and it’s an exciting turn for Acid King who never lack for adventurous bursts. It’s also Joseph who has pioneered this band and has been its steady force from day one. All hail. The record also focuses on our life journeys, the troubles we face, and our growth over the years as we become the people we are today.
“One Light Second Away” begins in a sound swarm that slowly makes its way into space, the riffs emerging and rumbling, atmosphere swirling wildly. The leads begin to lather and sweep, swimming into echo and right toward “Mind’s Eye” that has guitars firing right from the start. Joseph’s singing lures as the track catches fire, the riffs lapping lava and spitting it back toward you. The playing lathers and delivers psychedelic heat, Joseph howling, “You’re on your way,” as the guitars flood and burn off all the energy. “90 Seconds,” which is named as such for the amount of time a human can survive exposed in space, envelopes, the playing sweeping and pushing you into the stars. Riffs slowly unfurl as dreamier singing emerges, sweltering and churning bones, bringing things to a calculated end.
“Electro Magnetic” opens as a sounds clash, leaking in and bringing psyche heat along with it, melting and buzzing along the way. The playing barrels and trudges, the guitars soaring through a dimly lit tunnel, and then the force bludgeons before liquifying and trickling into the horizon. “Destination Psych” is a quick instrumental piece with thick lights beaming, moody guitars striking, and the playing flowing into “Beyond Vision” that opens into a burly assault and washed-out singing stinging your nerves. The chorus washes over you, the playing folds back and changes your perspective, and a molten haze escapes and mars your vision as everything disappears into a sound fog. Closer “Color Trails” drains in from the cosmos, spacey synth enveloping before the drums rupture. Dreamy riffs combine with sludge, and the echo ramps up and develops a heavy film, the drums scrambling brains. The playing works on your spinal column, the guitars mystify, and the shockwaves ripple past distant planets.
Acid King’s foray into more psychedelic sounds is a logical and exciting new level for the band, one that takes “Beyond Vision” into the stratosphere and more exciting terrain than this band has visited before. That doesn’t alter or compromise anything the band has created along their trail; in fact, it enhances it and gives it a whole new sheen. Add into that the perspective of examining one’s journey on this planet, and it makes it one of the richest Acid King records to date.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/AcidkingSF/
To buy the album or for more on the label, go here: https://www.bluesfuneral.com/