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Black Space Riders: Amoretum Vol 2

...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…

And so concluded my recent review for the first part of Amoretum Vol 1, a twin album attack released mere months apart and seemingly viewed as one single entity simply split into two. What the motivation for that staccato attack was I’m not completely sure but maybe it was the stark realisation that people don’t really need 22 songs and two solid hours of space/doom/rock to wade through in this age of limited attention spans?

Whatever the reasons, it’s clear that the two albums are separate creatures that remain intrinsically linked and maybe too much so. Does Amoretum Vol. 2 have much to say that Amoretum Vol. 1 hasn’t already told us? Possibly not.

In many ways the parallel between these twin releases are plain to see, both opening with a foot to the floor garage rock outburst, with “Before My Eyes” happy to follow the rip and snort blueprint laid down by “Lovely Lovelie” on album one. However, as that clever play on words did before it, sometimes you can’t help but wonder if BSR aren’t more interested in the clever-cleverness of calling a song “LoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLove! (Break The Pattern Of Fear)” than they are ensuring the track itself truly makes a mark. Yes, there’s some neat twin guitar interplay and throw-about sing along shouts to grab ahold of and yet you’re left wondering what the point of it all really was.

“Walls Away” suddenly adds a spacey breeze, that whooshing whisper that backs much of the slower Monster Magnet catalogue in evidence as a neat little guitar line adds colour and intrigue. Although the need for this outfit to close all of the pieces that start in this setting as bolder, brasher rock moments undoubtedly becomes tiresome.

With fourteen tracks, you really do begin to question the desire behind the punked up “Slainte (Salud Dinero Amor)” as it turns up, barks and bounds and then leaves again... “Assimilating Love” following it by employing the same trick but with less finesse… Then, as though to stick two fingers up at everything that’s come before, “In Our Garden” is an ambient chime of mood and melody that hits 100 times harder than the foot on the monitor posturing it follows. Thankfully, while the pace is picked up here, some bravery is shown as the temptation to turn this song’s close into more clatter-batter wallop-crash is resisted. But that doesn’t mean that a few moments down the line there’s an excuse for the needless noodling of “Ch Ch Ch Ch pt.I (The Ugly Corruptor)” as it gloops and glops a spaced out trip that on its own works quite well, but as part of an hour long album feels as though it’s only been set free as a mood altering scene changer. That it’s followed by the most effective slam of riff and beat in the shape of “Ch Ch Ch Ch pt.2 (Living In My Dream)” is either hugely welcome, or hugely frustrating, depending on your patience level. With the 14 minute “The Wait Is Never Over” bringing things to a close by trying to squeeze in as much of what’s already come before as it possibly can, we get everything from space-age ambient to garage riff n’ roll via doomed up sludge alongside a couple of minutes of shuddering, album ending, anguish that’ll prove to be a one time listen before hitting stop.

It all sounds a little harsh and in truth, a little unfair. There are some great, no there are some excellent moments across the two Amoretum albums and while it was nearly inevitable that this would be the conclusion, there is probably one truly cracking 45 minute record that could be cobbled together from these over ambitious affairs. As it is, while Amoretum Vol 1 was a tough journey with some real reward, its younger brother merely offers a few captivating chinks of light amongst the weighty intentions that have indeed come tumbling down.


Track Listing
1. Before My Eyes
2. LoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLoveLove (Break the pattern of fear)
3. Walls Away
4. Slainte (Salud, Dinero, Amor)
5. Assimilating Love
6. In Our Garden
7. Leaves Of Life (Falling Down)
8. Body Move
9. Take Me To The Stars
10. Ch Ch Ch Ch pt.I (The Ugly Corruptor)
11. Ch Ch Ch Ch pt.II (Living In My Dream)
12. Chain Reaction
13. No Way
14. The Wait Is Never Over

Added: August 10th 2018
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Amoretum Vol 2
Hits: 204
Language: english

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