Death Song – The Black Angels

For a group of demonic missionaries (after all, their name is the The Black Angels), they sure know how to conjure the inner-psychedelic savage out of every listener. Eerie and haunting while shaking the bad juju off from a horrid trance, Alex Maas and the Austin, Texas troupe lay down all of the tarot cards and voodoo bone casts on Death Song to remind you that the devil comes in kaleidoscopic shapes and forms. And as their follow up to 2014’s Clear Lake Forest, Death Song stretches their lifelong dedication to the garage psych-rock of the Velvet Underground (see their 1967 release on The Velvet Underground & Nico, “The Black Angel’s Death Song”…) and much of the psychedelia to come out of the 60’s and 70’s. But what’s truly different about Death Song from past releases like 2010’s groundbreaking Phosphene Dream is it’s ability to charm their conjured demon into a groovy boogie. The impending apocalyptic doom is still looming like a dark cloud, but songs like “I Dreamt” and “Medicine” get the devils feet tapping and hips shaking as if it’s the last chance before that dark cloud takes over (after all, the record is dubbed Death Song…). And while certainly more cheekier than before and never short on cynicism, Death Song drives with an upbeat lifeblood faster and further than ever before, while still including that sinister synth squeal from Pink Floyd’s “Echoes” to shine a light on how dark the lifeblood truly is.