Fans of desert and stoner rock are in for a treat with this collaboration that strings together an impressive selection of contributors. Whilst some collaborations don’t quite come together, this one is a different kettle of fish. Fu Manchu’s Bob Balch and Gary Arce from Yawning Man combined their considerable talents and managed to draw in a veritable feast of notable names. Contributors include ex-Kyuss man Nick Oliveri, Tony Reed of Mos Generator, Alain Johannes who worked with Them Crooked Vultures and Per Wiberg formerly in Opeth…it’s all a mouth-watering prospect.
All a stoner fan could want delivers in style on the tub-thumping intro and stomp of “The Glim” that has masses of Soundgarden running through its veins. Grunge and stoner rock in excelsis with wailing lead guitar that has hints of Brian May styled intensity that underscores an irresistible groove. A sharp left turn doesn’t take long to arrive in the form of “The Paranoid” and its hardcore punk blast that’s full of angst. Screaming lead guitar that leans on Discharge begs the question of where this album is actually going. Indeed, this track seems at odds with what is around it yet the song itself is an absolute belter.
Shades of Queens Of The Stone Age appear on “Then I Was Gone” before the more Black Sabbath inspired “Mirror Image” and “Hidden Wall” with the latter having a “Planet Caravan” vibe ahead of a release of some chunky riffs to add some weight. A ballsy, bluesy Orange Goblin tinged blast on “Shadows From The Altar” unleashes a psychedelic fuzz fest and is one of album’s standout tracks. Hooky, meaty riffs mixed with a QOTSA flecked sexiness make for a blinding moment.
The album’s second half is dominated by more atmospheric and spacious moments that on occasion float effortlessly. Still injected with moments of grubby riffage there is a more reflective quality overall that culminates in closing track “War Years” which has a late era Beatles sound that is richly textured and steeped In psychedelia.
“Vision Beyond Horizon” is a solid collaborative work and will please fans of the genre and the core bands from which these ideas sprung. The surrealistic artwork is a fair reflection of what lies on the disc. Worth checking out.
(7/10 Johnny Zed)