Every now and then, the big boss at AveNoctum HQ decides that we could do with another release once they’ve all been dished out and for the majority of those extras sent over, they’re pretty decent. Now this isn’t an omen or a doom of sorts so you can relax! Bur when an album with a front cover boasting a Velociraptor straddling a spaceship looking similar to the one in John Carpenter’s cult classic ‘Dark Star’ with two mushroom clouds in its claws and a surreal coloured background comes your way… Well, you know the rest – Space, dinosaurs and psyche.. I was sold, hook line and sinker. So let’s see what Spaceous Cretaceous is all about.
When the opening track talks about the end of the world being caused by Dinosaurs, wiping out humanity and ushering in the neo-cretaceous age, “Velocirapture” brings a huge fuzz-laden groove, classic 70’s styled vocals and some great headbanging riffs! The sci-fi fun doesn’t stop there, as the follow up track, “Hunted On Hoth” pays homage to the Star Wars Franchise with some massive steady paced, stomping grooves of mammoth proportions and a fairly accurate narrative of some of the antics on the frozen planet in that galaxy far, far away.
“Dark Star” keeps up the sci-fi worship, paying homage to John Carpenter’s cult classic of the same name and underneath the opening samples, a real building riff comes in before some real slick groove follows. With a solid rhythmic hook to it, bringing a sound similar to that of Fu Manchu musically but vocally coming off a little… Evil Scarecrow like (yeah, it’s a strange mix!), it again paints a great musical picture and provides an excellent narrative whilst being infectiously catchy and rocking.
“Cloven Hooves, Horns and Wings” has a real sleazy blues feel to it. Lazy pace, great pulse and some nasty and delicious fuzz gives a great sound whilst the storytelling in the vocal delivery really works. Following a simple blues progression, the minimalistic composition gives maximum effect and the infectious hooks and runs sink in and are near impossible to shake off, and the solo towards the end just caps it all. With copious amounts of fuzz and wah, it really sings out, wrapping the track up nicely.
“Enchantress” keeps with the bluesy approach but it has a bit more of a kick to its sound. Again with the blues styled progression, the more upbeat tempo and groove has a hypnotic feel to it as it slips into you with minimal fuss, inducing involuntary swaying and head nodding. The drum patterns are fantastic, really bringing the track to life and dictating the whole feel of the song. Add to that the sweet bluesy lead and deep bassline and it’s another great track.
“High Wizzard (King Of The Horsehead Nebula)” brings out the Sabbathian sound. Filthy, sounding distorted riffs hammer away with a methodical groove to them and the raw vocals really give it a gritty sound reminiscent of the classic holy trinity of Sabbath Albums (’71-’73) . Whilst the lyrical theme and title seems more apt for a band like Gloryhammer, it sits well with the surreal sci-fi theme of the album and for this track, headbanging to that riff is mandatory!
“Nuclear Sunset” opens up with a real infectious drum pattern before a solid sounding groove takes control. With thunderous drums and bass underpinning the verse, the guitars come in with some deep chugs and real warm sound when it brightens up. With that stomp feel groove, perfect for dancing along to, the track thunders on with its gritty vocals and apocalyptic premonitions being laid out, following on great from the previous track.
“Hail To The King” brings a more bluesy feel back with a more retro-rock/doom feel to the riffs. Hammering away with fuzz laden lead fills mixed in, the guitars really dominate this track in the verses whilst the rhythm section thunders on underneath it. Picking up pace, it has a slight shuffle feel, similar to some of Clutch’s work and of course, the theme of the song, the fantastic Evil Dead films, complete with samples of Ash’s iconic boomstick lines just makes it even better. In one word this track is simply… Groovy!
Closing the album is “See Her At The End Of Time”. Opening with a clean melodic chord progression, the distortion and drums slip in, giving a steady paced, infectious groove. Tasty sounding wah and fuzzy licks add a kick to the sound and the bluesy feel returns again, interlocked with the stoner friendly grooves. Solid vocals once again convey another captivating story and it just works so well with the music. With an enchanting effect, it really grips hold, constricting you in the riffs and groove and refusing to let go until the track finally ends, drawing a close to the album.
Overall, Cybernetic Witch Cult have got a real great album here in “Spaceous Cretaceous”. With surreal sounds, tributes to cult classics and of course, detailing the end of the world by the claws and jaws of the velociraptors, ushering in the neo-cretaceous era of existence, it really covers all bases when it comes to keeping you engaged. The sound is great, the riffs are great and overall, it’s great! All hail our new cretaceous overlords!