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Friday, July 24, 2015

LP Review: 'Refugeeum' by Black Space Riders

Black Space Riders is a different kind of heavy band and they stick out in a sea of sameness like sharks; powerful and intelligent. The fellas (JE: lead vocals, guitars, melodies, riffs, words - SEB: lead vocals, melodies, words - C.RIP: drums, vocals, additional songwriting - SLI: guitars, additional songwriting - SAQ: bass guitar, additional songwriting) own the nexus of groove and riff with an undeniable eccentricity that will have you listening to Refugeeum over and over again. The tight songs shine with a studio polish while still retaining an organic power. The band makes use of the entire sonic palette with stunning dynamics and a tasteful use of the stereo field.

Refugeeum is throwback record in a way in that it demands a certain type of patience from the listener with the promise of a payoff. And it delivers. The first cut, “Vortex Sun” opens with an inviting, creepy vibe before “Universal Bloodlines” delivers the evil, fuzzy riff. “The Lure” reminds me of the best tunes of the 80s while “Run to the Plains” is a rocking ten and a half minute tune held down by an incredible bass line. Black Space Riders explores dynamics in “Curtains of Death” and “Ritual of Inner Strength” closes the record bolstered by yet another tasty bass groove.

This band fulfills the promise made by “Vortex Sun” and I found myself listening to Refugeeum multiple times, enjoying the record at 10 and also down low in my headphones. Each time and in each experience I heard something new and something dark.

Black Space Riders turned me into a fan with one listen of Refugeeum and now I can’t wait to go and listen to the rest of their catalog.

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