Here's a little oddity for you, The Other Gods from International space rock/gothic/prog metal outfit Space Mirrors. Put together about a decade ago by Russian keyboard player Alisa Coral, Space Mirrors has taken on almost 'Ayreon' sized proportions over the years as far as rotating members, guest stars, and epic styled releases. Here on their latest for Transubstans Records, the band once again puts together Lovecraft lyrical themes with Hawkwind styled space rock and gothic drenched progressive metal.
Martyr Lucifer handles vocals throughout most of the album, and with his Italian accent and gothic style, at times he seems an odd fit for some of these songs, but then again, Hawkwind frequently had bizarre vocals on many of their albums, so I guess it's not altogether that strange. Speaking of the space rock legends, ex-Hawkwind member Nik Turner (sax, flute) makes an appearance here (other former members of the band have also appeared on Space Mirrors releases in the past) on a couple of tunes. Musically, The Other Gods is pretty rich sounding, if not as dense as classic Hawkwind, but the floating keyboards and occasional heavy guitar riff are present, giving songs like "Frozen City Of Cubes And Cones" and "The Nameless City" plenty of power. Most of the guitar work is handled by Sparky Simmons, and he does a good job at cranking out the riffs and churning out a flashy solo when needed. "Strange High House" has an almost New Wave styled flair to it, while "Times Unknown" is the albums heaviest and longest track at over 10 minutes, complete with some crushing riffs, floating keyboards, and a great flute solo courtesy of Turner.
Overall, The Other Gods is pretty intriguing stuff. Unfortunately, I'm not sold on Lucifer's vocals; I find him overly dramatic & theatrical, and he's way up in the mix, to the point of being distracting at times. On the title track, which is a warm, inviting slice of bubbly space rock filled with bleeping synths, every time the singer opens his mouth it takes away from the wonderful music that's on display. It's a shame, as it's not like he has a bad voice, but he's delivering it in a way that distracts from the music and comes across as quite 'hammy' for lack of a better term. Musically though there's a lot to like here for any fan of heavy space rock, and with a more effective singer this really would have been a home run.
1. Stranger In The Mirror (3:51)
2. The Nameless City (6:46)
3. She Devil (4:21)
4. Frozen City Of Cubes And Cones (8:18)
5. (The Case Of) Red Hook (4:20)
6. Strange High House (4:56)
7. Times Unknown (10:33)
8. The Other Gods (6:32)
9. Doom Of Sarnath (6:24)