KAWABATA MAKOTO's name is best known as the guitarist and group leader in tripped out Japanese psyche lords ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE but previous output by his other band; a self described 'psychedelic solid free attack group', is much fetished by fans of Makoto and following over a decade of inactivity, the surprise announcement of a new album is enough to make any psych fan quiver with excitement. While Makoto prefers to keep an air of mystery around such details as the album's recording (a refreshing attitude as any reviewer who finds their inbox constantly bombarded with trivial press releases can attest), what we do know is that, along with Makiti and drummer Koji Shimura is a newcomer on bass and vocal duties, Kawabe Taigen.
As far as statements of intent go, the eleven minute guitar freakout that introduces "Revelation Space" takes some beating. Straight from the jump, the title track sees the power trio firing on all cylinders with Shimura and Taigen providing a rhythmic backbone to the free squall of Makoto's feedback drenched guitar. Next, "Taitan" brings more ear-splitting levels of feedback with a mantric drum and bass groove building to a fever pitch while Taigen's ethereal vocals inject plenty of atmosphere.However, his vocals have an entirely different effect as he howls like a man possessed over the punked up wall of noise that is "D.D.D". Taking the riotous energy of GUITAR WOLF or THE STOOGES and pushing it to the precipice of insanity, it's delirious two minute duration rushes by before you know it. Penultimate track, "The Dispossessed" (which is exclusive to the CD release) takes the sheer power of the previous track and stretches it to a touch under ten minutes of breathless unhinged riffing and a repeated six note pattern which comes across like BLACK SABBATH on steroids. All that's left then is for the sprawling twenty minute epic "New Sun" to conclude matters. Basically, "New Sun" collates everything you've heard before into one final torrent of brilliantly obtuse noise. KAWABATA MAKOTO delivers a barrage of riffs which range from all out sonic warfare to patterns where repetition is pushed to the fore like ONEIDA at their heaviest. The rhythm section alternately keep control with tight grooves and deliver a series of unpredictable twists and turns with the tempo building to a breakneck speed. When Taigen's vocal arise, conveying a depth of mystery in just a few syllables,it seems both at odds with and the perfect fit for the frantically paced music with it's slow and deliberate unearthly quality. Fans of Makoto will delight in the fifty minutes of psychedelic escapism on offer here and, while newcomers may be initially put off by the in-your-face directness of the music, given half a chance "Revelation Space" pulls you into it's spiralling insanity for an enthralling journey into the heart of psyche. (9/10)
"Revelation Space" is out now through Riot Season