Spectral Haze - I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains - (8.5/10)
Published on November 3, 2014
Warriors at the edge of time
Have you ever had one of those dreams where you are aimlessly floating through space? Or just been stoned off your gourd, losing yourself in your media player’s ever-transforming visualizations? The Norwegian Space Agency, also known as Spectral Haze, have done both. Their intravoidal journey began in 2011, followed by a self-titled demo and a galactic amount of local gigs. To be fair, they’ve probably dodged your radar so far, but now the UFO is about to reveal itself. The five-piece consisting of Dôômdögg, Cëlëstial Cöbra, Sönik Slöth, Spacewülff, and newly added theremin-freak Elêctrïc Stårlïng, share a love of Hawkwind, umlauts, and most importantly, the cosmic transformative power of the riff.
Transmuted Nebula Remains is a drug-addled trip through space and time, peppered with psychotropic freakouts, hard rock swagger, and a colossal doom metal undercurrent. Infectious riffs rain down like manna from the heavens, assaulting the senses with the mind-bending groove of a young Sleep. There’s a loose structure to these tracks, a certain improvisational atmosphere that gives a glimpse into a world of extended late-night jamming-sessions. The retrospective style is obvious, influences are practically pouring out of the band’s wide sleeves, but there is something pure about Spectral Haze. They love this music, and their dedication makes them rise a head above most contemporary space rock hippies.
The old school production, Hendrix-inspired solos, a mind-expanding theremin; it’s practically space rock by the books. When frontman Spacewülff howls his astronomical gospel, it sounds like it’s emanating from the darkest corners of space, sometimes spinning down like the frantic ramblings of a paranoid schizophrenic. However, these are all mere particulars, beneath the aesthetics the whole of Transmutated Nebula Remains is tethered to thumping grooves and wild-eyed psychedelia. Spectral Haze are undoubtedly soaring through previously explored galaxies of sound, but they do it really, really well.
When the psychoactive drugs wear off, Spectral Haze will still be out there, doing their thing and running out of bubblegum. Anyone riding high on the wave of psychedelic space rock need to get their grubby hands on this album. Everybody else should at least go for a test-ride, this is a trip that won’t leave you crashing in the morning.