Subarachnoid Space - Eight Bells (Crucial Blast)

Try to describe a moment under the effects of lysergic acid; as soon as your mind has fixed upon the words that may fit what you are trying to say, what was once crystal clear immediately is not - as you realise it is so much more and the words cannot possibly capture what you mean! This music is exactly like that. Enthralling. Captivating. Intoxicating. Words fail to capture or explain what this music is.

Still, I will try to explain this release, and perhaps if you find my descriptions intriguing enough you will listen to it and hear what I mean. If you are familiar with Subarachnoid Space, you will know my words cannot possibly capture what it feels like to hear such a soundscape.

First, a brief explanation of where the band's name comes from.

The subarachnoid space is part of the brain which lies between the pia mater and the arachnoid mater. The pia mater is a delicate, vascular membrane which closely invests the surface of the spinal cord. The arachnoid mater is a thin, avascular membrane which adheres closely to the fibrous dura mater of the brain. This space is occupied by a spongy tissue containing intercommunicating channels in which the subarachnoid fluid is contained. The band, formed in 1995, aims for ectatic resonance with this.

Subarachnoid Space has realeased nine albums since 1995; the most recent being The Red Veil, which was realeased in 2005. Eight Bells, released by Crucial Blast, is similar to Also Rising (2003) and The Red Veil, in that it contains a heavier, metallic feel compared to earlier releases. Like all their releases, this is a portrayal of mind in motion; abstractness painted with sound; weirdness; synthesised effects melded with awesome instrumentals: a meeting of the cosmic and industrial. Psychedelic, psycherhexic: this music is a portal to other realms.

Melynda Jackson, the sole constant musician throughout the band's fourteen-year life, is joined by Daniel Osborne, Danial Barone and Bryan Sours. This is the second album without founding member Mason Jones and sees the subarachnoid sound evolving further; the trio of guitarists jam fx-laden, subliminally appealing riffs producing a psychelytic (mind-releasing) creation with heavy undertones.

Eight Bells is a collection of five songs that, seperately, each form a journey within themselves; yet flowing together they comprise a much greater experience. During Akathesia, waves of mellowness flow about you. Haruspex is a brilliant example of the strange effects and fragments of sounds so skillfully utilised. The final of the five tracks, Bird Signs delivers a groovy, rocking feel, ending the collection ecstatically.

The album art was created by Stephen Kasner and if the vinyl features the same graphic of the compact disc (a zoom into the cover artwork: dark and surreal) I would buy it so that I could see it spinning on my turntable as the music fills my mind. Though, if you close your eyes and lose yourself to the music, you are sure to see more wondrous sights than a spinning, surrealistically printed disc.

Lose yourself to it; open your mind; let that little space inside your brain buzz with aural delight communicating itself into the channels of your being.

Subarachnoid Space's Eight Bells is out now on Crucial Blast.