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Black Space Riders: Amoretum Vol. 1

The first of a two part story, Amoretum Vol. 1 is the fifth album from German outfit Black Space Riders, and takes its name from a fictitious word referring to the place where love is nurtured and flourishes. Combining a stoner rock base with a space rock vision, this collection also add a Gothic tinge to its offering as BSR look to blend disparate if linked ideals.

“Lovely Lovelie” is however, a confusing opener, a big dumb riff hammered out in garage rock style. Four being absolutely hammered out on the floor as shouted vocals bring an air of urgency before a gargling growl takes this introduction even further away from what will follow. Personally I love this sturm und drang clang-a-bang, but followers of this outfit’s previous work might be left ducking for cover… “Another Sort Of Homecoming” redresses the balance somewhat, a much more controlled Monster Magnet like guitar drone slowly building into a power-driven Cult-ish rocker. With two singers, JE and SEB (the whole band have names that are more a bad hand at scrabble than they are proper monikers, C.RIP, SLI, SAQ, MEI) alternating and combining, the vocals can be a little uneven as things shake out; “Soul Shelter (Inside Of Me)” landing somewhere between The Cure and Bauhaus as spoken in tune words build a hazy picture and drums clatter and bang quite magnificently.

“Fire! Fire! (Death Of A Giant)” shows the album’s lighter side, a meandering space rock shimmer making way for a stoner riff and roll that still carries on the dreamy edge that brought it into being. Although that “Fellow Peacemakers” and its New Model Army like crescendo follows exactly the same blueprint, does leave the feeling that even as this album bobs and weaves from attack to attack, so it can still sometimes create its own strict rules. However, with “Movements” a more controlled take on a similar idea and the more abrasive “Come And Follow” possessing a stronger individual heart, the good still outweighs the bad.

Part 2 of Amoretum is already on the way and it will be interesting to discover whether it follows the same path as that laid out here. Too much more of the same may find Black Space Riders toppling in under their own weighty intentions. However if it brings a few fresh sprinklings of ideas then there’s no doubt that the excitement levels could raise the roof. As it is, Vol. 1 is more nearly but not quite than it is unmitigated success, although when it does get it right, the results can indeed be mighty.

Track Listing
1. Lovely lovelie
2. Another sort of homecoming
3. Soul shelter (inside of me)
4. Movements
5. Come and follow
6. Friends are falling
7. Fire! Fire! (Death of a giant)
8. Fellow peacemakers

Added: August 1st 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Amoretum Vol 1 @ bandcamp
Hits: 1178
Language: english

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Black Space Riders: Amoretum Vol. 1
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2018-08-02 05:27:22
My Score:

German psychedelic space rock outfit Black Space Riders formed in 2008 and released their self-titled debut in 2010. I first became familiar with the band and their 2015 release Refugeeum. That is an excellent disc as is their follow up album Amoretum Vol. 1.

With this band it is all about the riff and once you listen to this album you will understand why. These tunes will take you on a cosmic journey built on guitar riffs of epic proportions. The first track “Lovely Lovelie” is a bit of an anomaly as the band’s post punk leanings are heavily relied upon and the vocals are very intense, all gruff and growls but it totally fits well with the heavy theme. It’s a sonic onslaught of ultra-heaviness. The guitar riff in “Another Sort Of Homecoming” has a Floydy ring to it and the vocals are very melodic and easy on the ears, much different than on the first track. The sometimes galloping drums propel the song forward while the keys provide appropriate accents. “Soul Shelter” is a superbly crafted tune with mellow beginning riffs before turning into heavier psych infused space rock. The vocals take their cue from Bowie or maybe even Iggy Pop and they are excellent. The swirling guitar in “Movements” is again full of psychedelic goodness. Another hint of Bowie in the vocal department doesn’t hurt either. The Hawkwind-like “Come And Follow” and its fuzzed out bass line is another excellent offering as is the moodier space rock of “Friends Are Falling”. The somber piano melody and unleashed guitar heaviness in this track is the ultimate dichotomy of sound dynamics. Very cool indeed.

Amoretum Vol. 1 is an impressive listen and should appeal to fans of Hawkwind and other space rock/psychedelic bands of the ‘70s. This one has some staying power as I am enjoying it more each and every day.

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