rating icon 7.5 / 10

Track listing:

01. Awaken The Mountain
02. Runes
03. Pyramid Builder
04. Chorus
05. Minion Of The Amethyst Cave
06. Jupiterean Ocean
07. Ghost Lanes
08. Runes Reprise
09. A King For Every Mountain
10. Floating Island
11. Shadow Of Ehe Catl
12. La Luz Compartida

Owls are cool. Therefore, and I don't think I'm being unreasonable here, any band that adopts OWL as their name should be profoundly cool, too. Coming straight out of Oakland, California, the men behind "Geomancy" are very much up to the task. OWL (or, if you prefer, OVVL) have been around for more than a decade, and have two previous full-length albums under their shared, purple cummerbund. The most recent, 2014's "Screech", boasted one of the best album covers of that decade. Take a look at it. If that appeals to you, then "Geomancy" is going to blow your tiny, stoned mind.

There are times when OWL sound like a prosaic stoner rock band. There are also times when they sound like an acid-fried CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL. But in between, and very often within the same labyrinthine tune, OWL are gleefully and convincingly psychedelic. Opener "Awaken The Mountain" begins as an angular web of riffs, before mutating into a woozy, tripped-out jam. Similarly, "Runes" is all proto-metal fuzz and KING CRIMSON licks, until OWL veer off into a wild blend of doom metal and noise rock. "Jupiterean Ocean" is even more perverse, with its stop-start eccentricities and dustbowl blues denouement. "Ghost Lanes" is for those who feel that MELVINS haven't been wonky enough recently; "Minion Of The Amethyst Cave" imagines a parallel dimension where CRAZY HORSE are FRANK ZAPPA's backing band. It is all thoroughly riveting.

An hour of fervently imaginative rock 'n' roll, "Geomancy" reaches a progressive peak with "A King For Every Mountain". Thriving amid a gritty, analogue rush of ingenious riffs, OWL flex their acid rock chops, side-step into proggy detours, and spiral awkwardly towards a slightly unhinged post-rock epilogue (with THIN LIZZY trimmings). Elsewhere, the 12-minute "Shadow Of Ehe Catl" takes OWL even further out, with esoteric drones, GENESIS-like musical intersections and a yet more great riffs combining to uplifting effect.

"Geomancy" buzzes and hums with the energy of a real live performance, but OWL's ingenuity in the studio has elevated some miraculous performances into an unexpected magic carpet ride through largely unfamiliar realms. It's enough to make your head swivel all the way around. Which owls can't actually do, but you get the idea.

Author: Dom Lawson
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).