Combat Astronomy

I have something of  a weakness for good bass lines, being a bass player myself. Naturally, when I glanced at the tagline for Combat Astronomy’s EP, entitled Barricades, I was intrigued. It also had the tag for doom metal, which I am not a huge fan of, but it seemed eccentric enough that I thought it was worth a listen.

I honestly don’t know how to classify what I heard aside from experimental. A successful one, specifically. This EP largely centers around the bass riffs, accented with drums, guitar, clean vocal tracks, and some miscellaneous noise. This is not a description of something I might normally enjoy, but it really works here. The distorted bass drives the music forward pretty much on its own, as though the other parts made up a musical landscape that was merely being passed over, despite being a crucial part of the journey. The third track, Yog, features all parts working together especially well.

The sound on this EP has a strange way of only seeming to lack consistency, despite many of the riffs being repeated several times. It always feels like there’s some sort of action going on. The image of a spaceship navigating an inaccurately rendered asteroid belt in a science fiction movie is brought to my mind; the same action is required, though the specifics are constantly changing.  The music of Combat Astronomy strikes me as difficult to describe perhaps because it is so free in form. The second track is the only one that even comes close to having a chorus, and the songs seem structured only by the order of the bass riffs, which while well executed, seemingly have no unified structure. More than anything this EP seems to want to be free from both structure and strict genre classification, and it’s certainly successful at that. Regardless of what you might call it, you should definitely give Combat Astronomy’s Barricades a listen.

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