International space-rockers Space Mirrors are working their way through a collective known as the “Cosmic Horror” series. These are a series of albums inspired by the works of H.P Lovecraft. “The Other Gods” is the second entry in the curious tale and ‘curious’ is a word that only scratches the surface of this strange release. This will probably satisfy those already familiar with Space Mirrors but may only slowly garner newer, unfamiliar fans.
The opener ‘Stranger In The Mirror’ sets the outlandish tone perfectly. Containing elements of power metal, progressive metal, space rock and more, yet it doesn’t settle solely for one of those genres. The catchy choruses are chanted almost ‘robotically’, Martyr Lucifer’s accent adds another haunting element, coupled with the low tone of the voice resembling that of Rammstein’s Til Lindemann. He fits the music but may not be the right cup of tea to everyone’s ears. His accented voice makes his melody weird at first, but soon somewhat satisfying. ‘The Nameless City’ trudges along like a slow metal chant, whilst the ten minute epic ‘Times Unknown’ passes through gigantic progressive gateways and explores instrumental experimentation few bands dare.
Despite it’s seeming ingenuity, it doesn’t quite hit the mark as perfectly as one would wish. Some sections feel weaker and un-inventive than others despite it’s strange and unchallenged territory. The darkness of the title track is warming at times, yet there are areas within numerous others that feel uncomfortable. This problem will likely be down to the vocal melodies, Lucifer often attempts to fit as many words he can into a short space, sometimes working brilliantly and other times falling short. Instrumentally there are highs and near lows too. Alisa Coral and co have really assembled a crack team of musicians to play, some from the space rock/prog world itself. There are a few guitar solos that aren’t vastly brilliant and the percussion could use more creativity, yet the majority of the instrumentals are great. They’re generally playing only what is needed and never too much.
It may take a few listens, but there’s something here for the right listener. It’s a good representation of a part of music not often covered and how bands really should experiment, regardless of whether it is ‘good’ or not. However, this album does come with it’s weakness through experimentation. Those already within this realm will enjoy “The Other Gods”, however newcomers will struggle on this ambitious ride.