Written by: BV on 31/01/2013 20:44:27

Savanna is a name I had not previously encountered in the psychedelic rock scene – granted, the scene is quite huge and many bands strictly adhere to being underground phenomena, never to emerge from its depths. But still, I find it odd that I had not heard about them, considering how good their album “Aurora” is. "Aurora" is the kind of album that will take you places if you listen to it in a dimly lit room while you may or may not be under the influence of unspecified stimulants. But it’s also an album that is a joy to listen to while travelling by train or bus, when you can see the landscapes fade and emerge in a speed you can’t possibly achieve on foot. – In all essence it’s a ‘travelling’ album of sorts.

It is mostly instrumental, but with few vocal passages to support the soundscape. As I mentioned earlier, this is a psychedelic rock album – it even contains elements of space rock. It is packed with distorted guitar, organs and synthesizers, groovy bass lines and incredibly steady drumming. A prime example of this is the track called “Curtains of” which contains absurd amounts of free jamming when considering that this is in fact a studio recording. I absolutely love the experimental nature of the track, where random oscillations and other spacerock effects are lurking constantly under the surface of the seemingly never-ending jam which ultimately turns into an incredibly tight and quite odd funk inspired track.

I’ve also become incredibly fond of the equally space-rock inspired track “Death”, which contains some futuristic backing sounds mixed a tad beneath the ‘traditional’ instrumentation, as well as some really cool monk-like chanting. I just know it kicks ass, and it really supports the title of the track, by giving it a sort of ominous feel.

But as we all know, there are nearly always negative aspects to albums – both insignificant as well as enormous aspects. Joyously though, I can’t seem to put my finger on any huge issues here, but there are some key points of the album that might be tiresome given prolonged exposure to it. The first of these points is the mainly instrumental sounds – vocals are scarce, but at least they are there. It’s really a matter of taste, whether or not you dig instrumental albums, but personally I seem to be growing fonder of them – despite of this, it does get tiresome to listen to nearly epic instrumental soundscapes while being haunted by the constant longing for vocal action. The other ‘negative’ aspect of this album is the runtime. Normally when I bring up the runtime of the album, I actually complain about it being too long – this time however, that is not the case. I think there could easily be space for at least one more song in there to bridge the gap between “Rise” and “Rest” since I don’t think they blend together as well as the rest of the album. But as I said, these negative aspects are close to being insignificant. – So in essence, this album is top notch psychedelic rock and I’m probably going to give it a couple more listens tonight.

Download: Rise, Curtains Of, Death
For The Fans Of: Pink Floyd, Airbag, Papir

Release Date 19.04.2012

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