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Pharm: Vortex

Vortex is the debut studio album from young Canadian stoner rock, progressive rock, psychedelic space rock trio Pharm.

A very interesting and energetic album, with a lot of different rhythms and grooves, showing tons of influences from the early 70’s hard rock and space rock scene, with Floydish atmospheric passages and heavy Sabbath-like riffing, and the smart use of instruments such as mellotrons, glockenspiel, Hammond organs, etc.

Unfortunately I was not able to find any information on band members and the instruments each of them are responsible of playing, or if there are any additional musicians involved in the recordings, but I will say the trio is comprised of hungry sounding, very good musicians that we should somehow keep in sight and follow their future steps, because this debut is a very solid effort, with the obvious corners that need some rounding, but with a lot of potential.

I like the prog aspects of this album a lot, especially in songs like “Six”, “Crystal Ships”, “Embryo”, and “Orbiting the Vortex”, all the twists and pattern changes add some depth to their compositions, however I do confess I have a love-hate relationship with the vocals… they fit the music, in both tonality and force, but because of the short range it just sounds too similar throughout the whole record, so I do find them a little overwhelming. The guitar work is outstanding as is the powerful rhythmic section, so… yes… I would consider this a power trio, a very promising one! “Acolyte” is a great opener, then “Conqueror” is both weird and catchy, two songs that have interesting breaks and structures, a complex start for an album that also relies in more straight forward and simple punk rock songs like Device” or the heavy and sludgy “Tear at the Wall”, but also showing the quirky and humorous side of the band with the closer song “Thanks”, which is, to my interpretation, a way to be appreciative with their listeners towards the end of such a unique ride.

Track Listing:
  1. Acolyte (4:43)
  2. Conqueror (5:46)
  3. Device (4:05)
  4. Rat Milk, Pt. 1 (1:23)
  5. Crystal Ships (4:39)
  6. Six (7:15)
  7. Tear at the Wall (5:58)
  8. Embryo (4:52)
  9. The Time Borrower, Pt. 1 (1:00)
  10. Orbiting the Vortex (9:27)
  11. Thanks (2:14)

Added: December 8th 2022
Reviewer: Jose Antonio Marmol
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 559
Language: english

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