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La Piramide Di Sangue - Tebe [Boring Machines/Sounds Of Cobra - 2012]

La Piramide di Sangue is an Italian psychedelic rock band whose name translates to 'The Pyramid of Blood'.  They debuted by releasing 3 CDrs last year in 2012, one of which being this concise 7 track album "Tebe" on Boring Machines.  Their style is stripped down, minimalist and largely influenced by krautrock and cinematic music, especially Ennio Morricone. 

The band relies on mesmerizing repetitions of simple pentatonic riffs driven home by thunderous tribal percussion lines.  The guitars have a brittle and dry distortion about them that recalls vintage hardcore punk, and it turns out to make a perfect counterbalance to the sweet and sultry clarinet lines that frequently appear, which exemplify pure and poignant melodicism.

Though the parts played the band are always placed into basic metric organizations, the tight control the band has over the ebb and flow of energy of their playing allows them to draw the listener into a succession of builds and releases, and a narrative takes shape.  As with the best psychedelic music the listener is pulled into a starlit introspection. 

This uneasy land of revelations waxes ever more alien; the listener has the sensation of light fading from the forest.  The band searches the haunting psychedelic possibilities of minor tonalities, realms perhaps explored once by the Acid Mothers Temple.  This is a trip that could just as easily end in loneliness and further confusion as with any sort of zen.

La Piramide picks the energy back up with the triumphant, middle Eastern tinged riffing of "Io Sono La Tigre" and a couple other upbeat numbers, such as "Complotti A Tebe" and "Sandalo".  Waltz-like rhythms creep in from time to time, and contribute a distinctly Italian elegance to the music that is clearly rooted in classical music and Morricone.

After the album ends, it's admittedly hard to remember any of it, but that's ultimately just the nature of the style: the journey was too abstract to be fully remembered.  The band makes up for this with the way the album feels very immediate and totally live.  I'm certain that in actual live setting the band would exude at least as much, if not drastically more, energy than on this recording.

The production on the album is rough and has a slightly unpleasant metallic ring to it, especially the drums, which sound a little like trash cans.  The garage aesthetic does not clash with the band's music, but they would certainly sound better with a high fidelity sound, the guitar tones could really become engulfing in a way they are not here.

In conclusion, "Tebe" is a scorching collection of raw mind altering jams that pick up speed and energy in just the right fashion.  I hope in the future band becomes more comfortable leaving their metric rhythmic structures, going further into atonality and free rhythm (as hinted on "L'Invasione Delle Locuste"), and also that they explore the hint of surf guitar influence which seems to be begging to express itself on this record, but for now "Tebe" is certainly a solid and enjoyable listen.  Recommend for fans of good concise 5 minute psych rock jams and/or Morricone.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Josh Landry
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