Causa Sui: Vibraciones Doradas
El Paraiso Records

Some bands mellow with age. Not Causi Sui: the Danish quartet's attack has never sounded heavier than it does on Vibraciones Doradas, a new mini-LP whose five tracks collectively weigh in at a svelte thirty-seven minutes. It's hard to prevent images of long-haired fans headbanging in unison from forming when the release's contents are so scalding.

The material at times plays like some imaginary blend of Iron Butterfly, Black Sabbath, and Popul Vuh, and a track such as “Seven Hills” even suggests what Jimi Hendrix might have produced had he kicked out an album's worth of incendiary instrumental jams. Raw doesn't mean sloppy, however, as guitarist Jonas Munk, keyboards player Rasmus Rasmussen, bassist Jess Kahr, and drummer Jakob Skøtt demonstrate in bringing their customary polish to the material. All four show themselves to be integral to the group's sound: as always, Munk's a veritable force of nature and the others provide unerring and muscular support every step of the way.

Stoner rock is but one of many labels that have been proposed to describe the band's sound, and Vibraciones Doradas definitely provides ample evidence in support of the label. But if it is stoner rock, it's stoner rock of an inordinately sophisticated vintage: in place of one-dimensional vamps, the album tracks often advance through multiple episodes, such that a particularly heavy section, say, might segue into something of a pastoral or space-rock nature.

With the quartet tearing into “The Drop,” no more than ten seconds are needed to establish the mini-album's lethal sound. At the start, low-end rumble pairs with Munk's fiery lead playing before the music takes flight with a brain-addling psych-rock sequence and then decompresses for a coda of ambient guitar strums and shimmering synth textures. The eleven-minute “El Fuego” picks up where “The Drop” leaves off with its own take on low-end stoner rock before moving onto a gradually intensifying psych-rock episode that climaxes with crushing, hammerhead riffing. Midway through, “Viborera” breaks things up with two minutes of kosmische guitar-and-synthesizer radiance, while the closing title track hauls out the heavy artillery with guitar-generated sludge so thick it could pave a freeway or two.

The press release describes Vibraciones Doradas as the final chapter in a quasi-trilogy that began with Euporie Tide in 2013 and continued on three years later with Return To Sky. If the mini-album does mark the end of a particular chapter, it'll certainly be interesting to see where the band goes next.

November 2017