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Offworld: Some Circles are Square

Offworld is a new band from Belgium with their debut album Some Circles are Square hitting the shelves a few months ago. They are a three piece outfit consisting of Peter Baart (bass, sound effects), Stijn Van Den Bossche (keyboards, sound effects) and Tom Tas (guitars). Adding to the band's sound are guest musicians Rob Martin (drums), Pieter Van Den Broeck (keyboards), Joris van Daele (guitar solo on #10) and Geert Roels (saxophone solo on #10).

This is an album that may require a few listens to get the full effect as there is much going on in this band's sound. They draw from a myriad of styles including space, psychedelic, progressive, metal, ambient and fusion. You may think this as way too many styles to remain a unified work but this band pulls it off with great aplomb. Although the sonic palette changes almost constantly in some tracks the musicianship is so good these guys make it seem easy. The band refers to their music as 'Space Opera' which makes sense as I think space rock is really the dominant form here.

Bizarre sound effects and voice samples have an eerie effect in the album opening "Swamps of SFD: Out / Temploid". Keyboards and synths soon come to the fore with the guitar adding some heavy chug. On "Alien Vocal Chord Trauma" weird synthesized vocalizations and spacey synths create an otherworldly soundscape. Progressive metal riff progressions, shredding guitar and a moody keyboard layer make this one a sonic delight. Atmospheric keyboards and trippy electronics highlight the Middle Eastern vibe in "Shaman's Garden" and more exotic tones can be heard on the heavy space rock of "Scattered Minds Freak Alike". The title track traverses chilled out ethereal motifs and prog metal workouts with ripping synth solos before the ethnic "Arabesque" is just as it reads and features some wonderful acoustic guitar. The laid back chilled out spacy textures of "Tidepools / Swamps of SFD: In" ends the disc on a more relaxing note.

Offworld has created a very impressive debut album and I have no hesitation in giving it a very well deserved 4 stars.

Track Listing:
1. Swamps of SFD: Out / Temploid
2. Alien Vocal Chord Trauma
3. Shaman's Garden
4. Terminal
5. Killing Voices in H.E.A.D.
6. Planetary Displacement (No Siesta)
7. Spices of the Desert
8. Scattered Minds Freak Alike
9. Power Supply
10. Some Cirkles Are Square
11. Arabesque
12. Tidepools / Swamps of SFD: In

Added: September 4th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Label's Official Site
Hits: 767
Language: english

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