CHURCH OF THE COS­MIC SKULL

Light­ning strikes twice for Not­ting­ham cult rock­ers.

Prog - - The Musical Box - DW

Not­ting­ham’s psy­che­delic pros­e­ly­tis­ers return with the fol­low-up to 2016’s ex­cel­lent de­but Is Satan Real?. Their new re­lease is Science Fic­tion, and it builds on the tem­plate of the first al­bum, bring­ing to­gether the trippy vibe of Jef­fer­son Air­plane with the grooves of early Deep Pur­ple. There’s less of the dark­ness of Is Satan Real? and the over­all mood feels much more upbeat and cel­e­bra­tory.

The vo­cal har­monies are al­ways a treat and lend a gospel influence to their white-wardrobed, cos­mic bene­dic­tions. That el­e­ment be­comes most promi­nent in the bluesy The Cards That You’re Play­ing and Go By The River, where the blend of Ham­mond or­gan, gui­tar and elec­tric cello re­ally cap­ture a clas­sic Sum­mer Of Love sound. Cold Sweat is won­der­fully catchy, while Time­hole (Gonna Build A Rocket Tonight) re­calls the propul­sive drive of Step­pen­wolf.

Not one to be left be­hind af­ter his pre­vi­ous head­lin­ing sta­tus,

Satan pops up once more on The

Devil Again, but there’s no sense of the band try­ing to be men­ac­ing or provoca­tive. In­stead, the track seems closer to the blues tra­di­tion of songs with an in­fer­nal theme.

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