01. In Te Court Of The Bear King
02. Lysergically Yours, My Psychedelic Bride
03. Diminsional Gymnastics
04. Trust The Sun, The Symphonic Sunrise
05. Divine Birthrite (Maiden Voyage Of The Grape Ape)
06. Behold The Light
07. Profane Illumination
08. The Illumination Of The Nation
09. Tussin And Turnin' All Night
11. The Ballad Of The Electric Coyote
12. I Will Swim Into The Lazer Eye
14. Cosmic Gypsy
15. Sacred Geometry
16. Death Rides A Brown Horse
18. The Eyes Of The Jaguar
2006 Ace Fu Records
I don't even know where to start talking about this band or their latest record. Supposedly this is An Albatross' take on "psychedelic rock," but to be honest, this would be just about the worst carnival of an acid trip I can possibly imagine. An awful lot of it sounds like Arthur Brown and Iron Butterfly playing on methamphetamines. Bits and pieces sound more like the Holy Molar or even the Locust. Any way you look at it, Blessphemy is an anomaly. The honeymoon is long over for bands of this variety and they all seem to have either grown up quickly to remain relevant or breaking up. In An Albatross' case, that transformation finds them hopping aboard the increasingly popular (but inevitably soon to be over) 70's rock bandwagon that they had previously only toyed with and the results are uneven at best.
The first five and a half minutes sounds so similar, the five tracks could have been a single track. Despite their labeling as three parts of a whole, the following three tracks fall so far of encompassing a single idea that they shouldn't even be sequenced near one another. It just seems as if the band is grasping pretty weakly at this trend and fails to raise it above just being a gimmick. I can see tons of people telling their friends to give this record a listen for novelty value but I just can't see anyone listening to it for genuine enjoyment. As a fan of We Are The Lazer Viking, I was happy to see this arrive in my mailbox, but running nearly twenty minutes longer than either of the band's previous releases, Blessphemy has quickly worn out its welcome. It's too frantic and messy to work as a rock record and it's far too traditional to work as a noise record.
I will give An Albatross credit for recognizing their need to adapt to the changing face of music and attempting to do so. There are moments where the group implements melody well and others where free jazz erupts from the clamor and genuinely do grab hold of the listener, but they're few and far between. For the most part, this record relies on a half-baked concept to carry the listen through twenty-six minutes of recycled organ lines, monotone shrieks and mediocre instrumentation. To the album's credit, it is mixed and engineered remarkably well. Perhaps it has a lot to do with just how deceptively simple An Albatross' music is, but it's still a notable high point on Blessphemy.
Bottom Line: Die-hard fans of either the groups' previous efforts or the sound of a 70's organ will be the only ones that will really want to pick this one up. It potentially merits a download and listen from everyone else, but it's just not worth much of an investment of your time and resources. An Albatross fail to deliver at nearly every turn on Blessphemy.