Band: Acid Mess | Album: Sangre de Otros Mundos | Genre: Psychedelic rock, Progressive rock | Year: 2020
From: Asturias, Spain | Label: Spinda Records
For fans of: Mezquita, The Mars Volta, Fuzz
I’ve discussed Spinda Records and their consistently high-quality underground prog and psych before. Moura’s self-titled debut—released by Spinda in March—might just wind up being my album of the year, but my year-end list is still taking form. The latest release from this label is the third album from Acid Mess, Sangre de Otros Mundos (Blood of Other Worlds).
The album opens with “El Reflejo de Su Piel” (“The Reflection of Your Skin”). The first half of this song is slow and atmospheric: clean guitar echoes as a squiggly, fizzy synth line winds its way beneath. That suddenly erupts into a distinctly Spanish guitar riff imbued with metallic aggression. Handclaps add a distinct textural element, and swirling organ, though low in the mix, makes everything feel fleshed-out.
“Fuego al Templo” (“Fire to the Temple”), in contrast, bursts out with an immediate, high-energy, groovy riff. I’m especially fond of the vocal arrangement on this track, and the synth line is somehow smooth while still having a slightly abrasive edge. The song’s second half is quieter and odder, and synthesizer takes the lead. The percussion unmistakably marks this song as Spanish.
The nine-minute “Hechicera” (“Sorceress”) takes a little bit to get going. The opening verse has a loose, jazzy feel amidst the Latin percussion and fuzzed-out guitars. The song is successful at building its intensity over the course of its runtime, eventually culminating in a fantastic guitar solo.
“Futuro sin Color” (“Future without Color”) starts off slowly as well, but once it gets going, it’s a straightforward, rocking piece of heavy psych. A funky rhythm opens up “Salvaje Historia” (“Wild Story”) and continues in the preceding song’s relatively up-front fashion. Some of the wiry guitar lines, coupled with the moaning vocals and warbling organ, sound like something out of a spaghetti Western.
A pulsing, distorted sequencer charges forward in the opening seconds of “Hijos del Sol” (“Sons of the Sun”). The buzzy synthesizers, angular guitars, and half-shouted vocals remind me of certain early post-punk bands. It’s a welcome injection of an unexpected style into an already-unpredictable record.
The album closes on “Inferno Gris” (“Grey Inferno”). Despite the title, it opens in a shockingly mild, melodic manner. Heavily wah-wahed guitar and subdued percussion establish and maintain that mood throughout. The final two minutes, though, bring back the aggressive prog-psych this band does best.
Sangre de Otros Mundos is a wonderful bundle of heavy psych and progressive rock delivered in a proudly Spanish way. Though some of the songs take longer to get going than I would have preferred, this is nonetheless a strong release. The blending of Iberian folk motifs and psychedelic sound palettes is pulled off masterfully.