Image of Our Solar System - Origins (BBisB) (1 Left)

Our Solar System - Origins (BBisB) (1 Left)

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It would seem that the mysteries of Our Solar System - the swelling, Swedish cosmic collective, dressed in quasi-cult garb and deep into the practice of sonic exploration - are not unlike the mysteries our solar system itself. The twentieth century itself doubtlessly fueled massive, star-bound inquiries into the nature and make-up of how we plot our place in the universe, radically turning the unknown into the unarguable - and yet, the pull of the unknown remains, perhaps even multiplied.

Similarly, Our Solar System's third full-length via Beyond Beyond is Beyond is perhaps their most transparent and revealing, unobstructed by anything beyond the group's now-masterful commitment to eclipsing the expected. On "Origins," the music is at once rapturous, intense and mysterious. Despite its titles, the album is easily enjoyed as the sum of two side-length outings, and "Origins" never plays like anything less than a cohesive whole.

The opening half of Side A ("Vulkanen") offers an almost animal assessment of the power possessed by Our Solar System - with thunderous drums, relentless atop crashing waves of sound, for a result more primitive than industrial, even with the electronic squalls that mercilessly cut and slice their way through the sonic soup, eventually merging into a deep, gloomy, horn-fed three-note dirge of a refrain. In the aftermath, the listener is likely to find themselves well-enveloped in Our Solar Systems pleasantly conflicting jazz-psych-rock-or-not charms, if not fully cocooned by them once and for all. With considerable ambience this opening suite finds its balance in a land with similar topographic features to that explored by Cluster, Harmonia or "Fly United"-era Amon Duul II (and with no skimping on the flute here, either).

Comparatively speaking, Side B - from "Babalon Rising" to "Monte Verita" - is the slightly more serene of "Origins" offerings, though not a gram less compelling. For the first time on "Origins," the band is unmistakably upbeat and, it must be said, s-w-i-n-g-i-n-g, practically levitating across the sea of tranquility and toward the album's phenomenal finish.

Gods, spirits, invocations, planets, presences and the gaps between - what does it all mean? Easy answers don't appear on "Origins," though your ears will likely beg for another spin to at least ask the right questions. Investigate this fully and find your place in Our Solar System. - Ryan Muldoon (Revolt of the Apes)