A trek into psychedelic bliss
Southern California has transformed into a haven for psychedelic rock acts as of late, Earthless only adds to this undercurrent with their latest release Black Heaven. The album is a rich mix full of hi-hat cymbals, tube overdrive and wah-pedal infused guitar solos that have been a staple of the genre for generations.
The album opens with “Gifted by the Wind,” starting with a simple yet infectious paradiddle cymbal pattern not unlike Ian Paice’s early work, then gradually transitions into Isaiah Mitchell’s rich and soulful vocals. Though the track is of substantial length, it doesn’t drone on or lose any of its luster over the nearly seven-minute run time.
Though Mitchell’s skills on vocals as well as guitar are incredibly evident throughout the release, Mario Rubalcaba’s performance on drums and Mike Eginton’s basslines added a robust and resilient rhythm section that provided the body for the music to construct itself around. Songs like “Electric Flame” and “Black Heaven” only drive this point further home.
Though a six-track LP doesn’t seem like much from the surface, there is plenty of substance to keep listeners engaged and interested in the material. It is a journey that ventures on from track to track, creating an atmosphere perfect for broken furniture, trashed hotel rooms and debauchery as the forefathers of rock ‘n roll intended. As a whole, Black Heaven is an excellent kickback and play on repeat kind of album. It isn’t overbearing, but its presence is felt and incredibly hard to ignore.