AMPLIFIER

(UNITED KINGDOM)

TRIPPIN' WITH DR FAUSTUS

(2017)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

OTHERS

/ ROCK
TAGS:
Psychedelic
"If there is an Amplifier record to listen to to familiarize yourself with its sharp rock and its offbeat universe, it is definitely "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus"."
NUNO777 (05.09.2017)  
4/5
(0) opinions (0) comment(s)
The adjustments in Amplifier's artistic direction have been so numerous that it is difficult to have a preconceived idea of what awaits the listener with each new achievement. We can only say that with "Mystoria" the English were returning to the energy of their first albums by taking a happy break from the disappointing recipe of "Echo Street". For this sixth release on Sel Balamir's label, Rockosmos, the Mancunians are stirring up even more curiosity with an enigmatic album title "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus" and a no less surprising cover.

Without the listener needing to sell his soul to the devil to realize his dream of hearing Amplifier return to the same quality as their first three productions, "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus" admirably fulfills expectations with a record that could be the missing link between "Insider" and "The Octopus". Especially since the title 'Silvio', which served as the starting point for the entire disc, was composed in 2011 in the sessions to garnish "The Octopus". Unlike the two previous albums, whose production favoured instant and intuitive recording, "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus" is the result of several months of precision work but also highly crafted, as it was initially recorded on an old Otari multi-track tape system. This album ideally combines the direct and raw writing found in the English's second album with the density and epic consistency of its highly progressive conceptual double-album. 

Among the most progressive compositions are the layered formats of the breathtaking first track "Rainbow Machine" with verses and choruses that mix to the point of blurring the role played by each of them and the psychedelic "Freakzone" which has fun expanding time to welcome a very good solo all in finesse and feeling. 'Kosmos (Grooves Of Triumph)' and 'The Commotion (Big Time Party Maker)' deceive the listener with constructions that are linear in approach but rather cyclical. This mirage is the result of a combination of slow, crushed tempi and the loop repetition of a highly effective riff that creates an impression of stunning. These two songs are made addictive thanks to their melodic qualities and especially to the rarity of their chorus (they are sung only twice in each song).

Amplifier is not satisfied with the psychedelic heavy stoner rudiments that make up the backbone of most songs, but also a multitude of harmonic elements and rhythmic variations that bring amplitude and relief. Perhaps the best example is the fabulous "Supernova", which comes just after the superb acoustic ballad "Anubis", with its intoxicating spatial and psychedelic atmospheres. We could also add the magnificent choirs that reinforce an area that is increasingly being addressed by Sel Balamir (notably in the winning duets "Big Daddy" and "Rainbow Machine" with singer Beth Bishop), the always original effects on the guitars (fuzz and reverb on "Rainbow Machine", the wah wah on 'Silvio'), keyboard textures ('Freakzone', ' Kosmos (Grooves Of Triumph)') and acoustic guitars (and banjo) that double electrified chords ('Old Blue Eyes',' Rainbow Machine',' Kosmos').

Finally, it is impossible not to mention the monstrous rhythm section at work in "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus" made up of Alex Redhead's stratospheric bass, which sometimes plays on a par with the guitar, imposing its authoritarian presence ('Old Blue Eyes' and 'The Commotion') and Matt Brobin's drums, craftsman of the alternately heavy and pachydermic cadences ('Kosmos','The Commotion') or full of groove ('Big Daddy'). Their respective contributions, and that of Steve Durose's second guitar, perfectly integrated since its arrival in 2011, are cardinal in the impressive sound quality of "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus".

The cover of "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus", deliberately blatant and hallucinating, sets the tone for a bold and stunning Amplifier. It is also the most accomplished disc in the sprawling discography of Sel Balamir, the one in which accessibility and exigency are combined in the best of ways. If there is indeed an Amplifier record to listen to to familiarize yourself with its sharp rock and its offbeat universe nourished by the imagination of science fiction and psychedelics, it is definitely "Trippin' With Dr. Faustus".
- Official website
SIMILAR BANDS:
CZAR, OCEANSIZE, TOOL

TRACK LISTING:
01. Rainbow Machine-06:27
02. Freakzone-08:22
03. Kosmos (Grooves Of Triumph)-06:42
04. The Commotion (Gig Time Party Maker)-06:09
05. Big Daddy-05:14
06. Horse-06:40
07. Anubis-03:45
08. Supernova-04:34
09. Silvio-05:20
10. Old Blue Eyes-06:09

LINEUP:
Alex Redhead: Chant / Basse
Matt Brobin: Batterie
Sel Balamir: Chant / Guitares
Steve Durose: Chant / Guitares
   
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