Fungal Abyss are a band who are completely new to me, even though they have been going since around 2011. Essentially a side project of Seattle post-metal band Lesbian, Fungal Abyss could be described more as ‘space rock’ in their approach. The band’s debut album, I have since learned, is highly regarded in space rock circles and is apparently going to be reissued soon (watch this, er, space) by Germany’s Adansonia Records, the label who have released the marvellously titled ‘Karma Suture’, the album that is under consideration here.
‘Karma Suture’ is essentially two tracks improvised within a inch of their lives, and wow is it exciting. The band play with a huge amount of freedom in really drawing themselves and each other out, stretching out the music without making it feel anything less than immediate. This is not space rock played out with hallowed tones though, this is a full on rock assault carried out as high velocity and infused with not with space dust, but rocket fuel. This is not of the nebula but the ice hard asteroid slamming its way through the universe.
First track, ‘Perfumed Garden’ feels anything but, with its ever evolving riffage and absolutely nailed in rhythm section that just keeps pounding away. If this is perfumed then it’s the sort that hits you hard to the point of passing out. It’s a track that never stays still, never lulls into a bridge, never takes its foot off the thruster pedal. Hearing this for the first time gave me the same wow factor as when I first heard Blown Out’s ‘Jet Black Hallucinations’ (click here for that)…and that for me is a massive complement.
Moving over onto the second track, the perhaps more appropriately titled ‘Virile Member’. In pure descriptive terms it’s more of the same sort of super-extended high octane rock and roll, yet it is also very much its own track perhaps with the guitars moving about the sound even more than before. Again it has a momentum to it that is totally irresistible, it just keeps dragging you forward and listening to it must be the sonic equivalent to having your ankles lassoed to a stampeding horse…out of control, and down and dirty.
This then is an utterly marvellous album of compelling space rock and roll, an album that keeps up the pressure from start to finish, an album that only operates in hyperdrive, and an album that can put a smile on your face at any time of day. Brilliant!
‘Karma Suture’ is available from Adansonia Records here, in three 180g versions:
200 x black vinyl
200 x blue/black marbled vinyl
100 x pink/blue marbled vinyl
Also check out the Fungal Abyss bandcamp here.
You can find my other writing for Backseat Mafia here.