They Watch Us From The Moon – Cosmic Chronicles Act 1, The Ascension
Kansas-based They Watch Us From The Moon is a Psychedelic/Progressive/Doom outfit who released their debut EP earlier this year. TWUFTM is a band that has a concept behind the groove. Sci-fi space opera, a love for Bowie and Queen, brought to the fore visually in their mashing of comic book narratives and Funkadelic style alter egos. Cosmic Chronicles: Act 1, The Ascension is space opera, and if that doesn’t grab your attention, then are you really worthy of listening to this album anyway? Of course, you are, enjoy!
- Luna Nemesis – Vocals
- Nova 10101001 – Vocals
- The General Shane Thirteen – Guitars/Vocals
- R. Benjamin Black – Lead Guitars/Vocals
- Zakkatron – Bass
- Adryon Prahktaur – Drums
May 12, 2023 http://www.newheavysounds.com
- On The Fields Of The Moon
- Space Angel
- Mother Of All Bastards
- Creeper AD
- Return To Earth
The album opens with “On The Fields Of The Moon.” You first hear recordings from the launch of a rocket of some kind and keyboards preparing for the guitar riff that will smash in and overtake the sonic sphere. Intermittent lead work bridges to the vocals, a combination of two voices, and maybe a little layering. Both voices are female and clean, hanging in the lower end of the female register, though they do climb at times to hit some higher notes. Those climbs are well executed, with no wavering or struggle to reach that point. The rhythm is slow, moving at a nice Doom Metal pace, oozing on as the spoken recordings and ethereal vocalizations weave through the bass, drums, and guitar. I also hear a little Gothic Metal in this mix, with a dash of Lacuna Coil filtered through the music and voices.
“Space Angel” has a bit of a heavier, darker feel to it. I like the varied harmonies on this track. The vocals have a different finesse to them on this song. The guitars are Sludgy and ominous, taking the song through the depths of space where no light reaches. I get the sense the “Space Angel” is an extraterrestrial being that will be arriving at some point to save us, probably from ourselves. The phrasing on this track is really nice. The riff works well with the song as a whole, not overpowering but pushing the boundaries of the song pretty hard.
Interestingly enough, the shortest song on this EP is “Mother Of All Bastards,” at a little under seven minutes. The vocals go from muted to full-throated, occasionally soaring over the music to provide an interesting texture to the track. The song moves at the same pace as the last two, sticking more into the Doom-laden style. The Psychedelic Metal is woven throughout the tale, focused more on the lyrics than the instruments.
The longest song follows the shortest. “Creeper AD” is over 11 minutes and finally brings in more of the Progressive Metal elements I’ve been waiting for. The space-based recordings continue throughout the album, thematically tying the whole thing together. Here, I get some Pink Floyd vibes in some sections, though there is much more to the song than just those moments. All Along, I’ve felt like there are echoes everywhere on this record, coming from vocals and guitars alike. The sound appears to come from the distance and move past slowly, taking time to reverberate through your mind.
“Return To Earth” closes the album, starting with similar spoken word recordings before going heavy into the guitar riff. The song ties the album together beautifully, echoing the earlier theme while bringing the story to a logical conclusion. They Watch Us From The Moon has put together a slow burner of an album, using Progressive Doom as the base and adding in elements of Power and Psychedelic Metal to help build a more substantial base for the whole thing.
This is about 44 minutes of music despite only having five songs. I love the attention to detail they put into those longer tracks, filling in blank spaces with extra tonality from the voices and the instruments. They’ve built a story around the musical theme with the lyrics matching well, delivering a well-written record for those who like the story as much as the soundtrack. This whole listens like a movie with an excellent score and soundtrack both. Definitely worth digging into if you like sci-fi and music in one place.
- Guitars – 9
- Rhythms – 9
- Vocals – 9
- Songwriting – 9
- Production – 9
- Overall – 9.00