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Music Review – The Warlocks: The Mirror Explodes

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The Mirror Explodes is a skillfully blended acoustic and ambient electronic potpourri by the Warlocks. It begins with a musical setting that screams, “English Countryside," before progressing through a bubbling, liquid landscape more fitting to Mars than Earth.

The CD begins with a single, strumming, electric guitar drone, quickly adding electronic and ambient into one, ultimately exploding into a metaltronic crescendo. Just after two minutes, the song slows in intensity if not in tempo and the group creates a lighter effect, although one still heavy on the electronics and psychedelics. Then, at just three and a half minutes or so, the intensity eases off, allowing the vocalist to take the center stage. That first cut is titled “Red Camera,” but I can easily picture the mirror exploding. The Warlocks spend the remainder of this album reconstructing pieces of that exploded mirror back into a whole. Or several different wholes.

The second cut, “The Midnight Sun,” starts as a softly sung ballad, perhaps a lullaby, the metal drone becoming more pronounced as the vocalist progresses until it becomes an assault on the senses. The music permeates your body, re-energizing you. You’re breathing it. You’re smelling it. You’re tasting it. You’re feeling it. You’re hearing it.

It’s everywhere, this infectious music is. And it feels like you’re a physical part of the sound. Or, perhaps to make sound a living being would be more easily understood? The sound is a living, breathing organism, waiting to embrace you into his/her arms.

By the time we get to the third cut, “Slowly Disappearing,” the drone is back, this time with a different voice, a different effect. There’s a melancholy eeriness to the music that comes in its instrumental ending.

“There Is A Formula To Your Despair” starts with a simple guitar strum and quickly opens up to several strings, percussion, then vocals, all in quick succession. It builds into a very powerful, strong, its strength is in the living sound once again and it pulls you in deeper. You may be getting sucked to your own death, but man what a ride!

This is a very powerful album, one of the best I’ve heard this year. Even if you don’t particularly care for the Warlocks’ style of music, you’re compelled to admire their musicianship. But you’ve got to be in a receptive mood for this to happen. You’ve got to lower your force shields.

You know how sometimes you go around with your brain compartmented? If something happens that day and it doesn’t fit into one of these compartments you've created, then it’s roughly pushed aside, never to be seen again. Well, don’t let that happen with this album. Open your mind. What you give up as you’re listening to this music, you’ll get back tenfold.

No matter what plane you’re on as you begin to listen to The Mirror Explodes, you can rest assured you’ll be on a higher one as you fade into the last notes of “Static Eyes.” You'll become the music, that living being of sound. You'll feel the music rushing through your veins. You are racing through the veins of a greater being: The Sound.

You’ve reached nirvana.

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About Lou Novacheck