Space rock act Hedersleben had two solid releases under their belt already, but as you often hear, 'third time's the charm' with their new album The Fall of Chronopolis. With a diet of steady tours both on their own and as the backing band to ex-Hawkwind legend Nik Turner, the Hedersleben line-up of Nicky Garratt (guitars), Jason Willer (drums, percussion), Kephera Moon (keyboards, backing vocals),
Ariana Jade (vocals, violin), and Ursula Stuart (bass, backing vocals) are really peaking at this point, with this latest release, a concept album based on the book of the same name by Barrington J. Bayley about the rise and fall of the Chronotic Empire, easily the best thing they've done to date.
While their debut hinted at straight Krautrock and the sophomore release started the dive into space rock/prog territory, we now see Hedersleben completely immersed in epic prog as well as the adventurous ways of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, and Eloy. The album features a few lengthier tracks, with shorter pieces spliced in between. "An Empire" kicks things off, a gem of soaring space rock, complete with rumbling synths and hard charging guitar, while Ariana's gorgeous vocals make an impact on the moody "Umbul" as well as the aggressive "Imperator", a tune that also features plenty of roaring synths, searing violin, and heavy guitar riffs. Haunting Mellotron appears on "Gulf of Lost Souls" as well as the enchanting acoustic guitar led "Somewhen Veaa [Dreamstate]", but it's the mysterious "Ghost Amada" that's really going to tickle the fancy of any longtime space rock fan, as the repetitive rhythms, undulating keys, liquid guitar lines, and drifting vocals pull the listener right in. The same can be said for the title track, a more hard rocking slice of spacey goodness, but a must hear for any fan of Hawkwind.
Expect to be taken back to the early '70s once again with this stunning album from Hedersleben, proof that glorious space rock & prog is alive and well here in 2015.
1. An Empire (8:19)
2. Gulf Of Lost Souls (4:39)
3. Hulmu (1:49)
4. The Third Time Fleet (6:51)
5. Umbul (2:00)
6. Imperator (3:44)
7. Somewhen Veaa [Dreamstate] (4:06)
8. Ghost Amada (3:47)
9. The Archivist (1:06)
10. The Fall Of Chronopolis (3:24)
11. These Pi-Mesons (1:32)