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Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno, "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath"

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Acid Mothers Temple have no shame, and that's not such a bad thing. They've taken aim at their idols before by approximating the album covers or titles of Hendrix, Zappa, and King Crimson, among others, and have paid tribute to the likes of Hawkwind and Gong. This time they set their sights on Black Sabbath, even going so far as to reenact the cover of Sabbath's first album, with Acid Mother guru Kawabata Makoto enrobed before a countryside home. With their other tributes, the object of reverence is a starting point, not a destination in itself, and this one proves to be no exception.



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The title track is the meat of the beast, beginning with a minute of booms and gongs reminiscent of a thunderstorm before launching into some slow, heavy Sabbath-esque riffs. Squealing guitar and synth effects accompany the vocals of bassist Tabata Mitsuru, whose voice captures some of the sound and feeling of Ozzy's more than it does the melody. The pace is slower than most AMT fare, but things speed up considerably around the eight and a half minute mark. The group convincingly imitates the Sabbath guitar sound here and the rhythm section is particularly tight, giving listeners something on which to hang their ears or even providing them with a chance to gasp for air during Makoto's guitar explorations. Around the sixteen minute mark, everything comes to a wailing halt before the band returns to the dirge-like tempo that started the song. This pattern continues for the duration of the piece, until a couple of minutes before the ending, when the group makes a smooth transition to acoustic guitar and processed vocals to cool down.

Clocking in at nearly thirty-five minutes, the length alone may tax some listeners. However, the second track, "Woman From A Hell," provides relief, which with a running time of six minutes is uncommon in the Acid Mothers canon for its brevity. This one condenses many of the ideas of the title track, and accomplishes much of the same evocation of Sabbath, but with the vocals in a more prominent role. The disc comes full circle, ending with thunderstorm sounds much like the ones which started the album. Though the title track could have been shortened and perhaps an additional track included, this album remains one of the group's more accessible releases in some time and should please fans old and new alike.

According to the group's website, Makoto is reviving the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. line-up after a year of recording and touring with the Cosmic Inferno. This is a shame of sorts, since the Cosmic Inferno infused a much-needed vitality to the group that it had lacked since the departure of vocalist Cotton Casino. Yet the reformed Melting Paraiso U.F.O. has the potential to be even better since, if anything, Makoto seems to be the Mother of Reinvention.

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Last Updated on Monday, 27 March 2006 16:31  


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