No Metal this time, but it still rocks… somehow. MY SLEEPING KARMA, hailing from Germany, was very much unknown to me until the fall of 2012, when Napalm Records released the band’s fourth full-length, “Soma”, in September. So yes, this review is a little overdue, but that’s trivial. MY SLEEPING KARMA’s Psychedelic Groove Rock is for a refreshing kind of music.
This new release contains eleven tracks, each full song is followed by an interlude. And the whole is fully instrumental. In many cases it’s dangerous to not add vocals, but several bands/artists do manage to keep things interesting and attractive. In addition, as I’ve said before in another review, there’s already so much singing on Rock and Metal releases, it can be very welcome to just have the music do the talking. “Soma” refers to the intoxicating drink of the gods, and combined with the music, the visual aspect is that created by Sebastian Jerke, representing everybody’s own inner journey.
It begins with “Pachyclada”. This song starts off calm and very atmospheric. Things advance slowly, the unfolding occurs bit by bit. The focus lies on the lead guitar, while the rhythm section keeps it meditative. The soundboard completes the aural experience. Around halfway, the music becomes a bit heavier, wilder, before returning to the calmness of before, all happening very smoothly. The first “Interlude” offers even more tranquillity with its cracking sounds and gentle guitarwork.
“Ephedra” also starts very calm and light, dreamy even. Slowly the right tune, picking is found. And it sounds very catchy, too. Bass and drums come in later, while the melody is on repeat, looped. When all elements are adjusted, the music begins to rock more, as if it’s the chorus, since the previous melody returns a few times, taking turns with the rocking part. Things do change slightly halfway, as wildness kicks in. I shouldn’t be writing so much, as it’s better to listen to the album and experience the magic yourselves. The second “Interlude” is a light one, Jazzy even. And it sounds so silent, it’s as if the instruments would break if played harder.
Jazz is also the key word for “Eluisine Coracana”, at least in the intro. Important instruments: bass and soundboard. When the volume increases, it’s time to rock, the Stoner kind. Halfway the track, the band opts for a dreamy direction to return later. This is one of the more psychedelic songs on the album. While the previous “Interlude”s weren’t bad at all, I have to say that track 6 aka “Interlude” 3 is very good. It’s all about the bass. Again, the loudness of the music isn’t high, which is good in the age of loudness wars. Oh yes, birds and a bit of wind guide you to “Saumya” with its clean guitar lick that starts it off. Afterwards, Bluesy Rock breaks out with the return of the intro theme. Backing keys (or soundboard) make the music fuller. The pyschedelic, clean music later on reminded me, from what I’ve heard by them, of PORCUPINE TREE. Regardless of that, MY SLEEPING KARMA does not disappoint.
The following “Interlude” is one where the piano leads, backed by a steady beat. “Somalatha” is similar to the preceding tracks, fits in perfectly. The last “Interlude” revolves again around the bass and sounds very floaty, so to speak. Last but not least, there’s “Psilocybe”, which also fits in perfectly with the typical ingredients, but it’s a darker track, this one. More Post-Rock. Around halfway you get clean music, atmospheric and spacey… to the point of tranquillity. And slowly the power comes back. All ends in silence.
All things considered: I like it and I’ll probably put some more MY SLEEPING KARMA in my collection. But that’s for later. What’s important about “Soma” is that not only it’s full of instrumental music and in several cases with a pyschedelic touch. It also offers a wonderful aural voyage and peace of mind after a busy day, for example. Heavily recommended!
- Eluisine Coracana
Seppi – guitar
Norman – soundboard
Matte – bass
Steffen – drums