Harmony Of Spheres – CD//DD//Vinyl
iota5 Records – Release Date: April 28th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
I have long said that there is some incredible music happening in the nation of Greece and this band, Puta Volcano, are the latest example of what I am talking about. Clearly, I am not alone in that belief either seeing as how Athens’ Puta Volcano is set to play at DesertFest Athens 2017 alongside acts like Saint Vitus, Orange Goblin, Colour Haze and Graveyard, among others. It has now been close to a month since the band, vocalist Luna Stoner (aka Anna Papathanasiou), guitarist Alex Pi, bassist Bookies and drummer Steven S., released their latest album, the stellar ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘. The 8-song offering is the eagerly awaited follow-up to the band’s earlier releases, The Sun (2015) and Represent Victory Below Eye (2011) and let me tell you, the wait was worth it.
Much like their namesake, Puta Volcano and their music are an explosive eruption of lava hot Desert Rock, but such that has elements of Stoner, Psyche, Grunge and Progressive Rock augmenting it. The quartet craft intensely enthralling riff-driven hard rock that just flows with rhythmic propulsion, they keep it tight knit and cohesive thanks to their solid deliveries. It simply astounds me that the band is not a widely known commercial success, a well-recognized household name uttered upon the lips of countless music fans. But then like I said, this record is a freshly out of the oven, piping hot slab of molten musicality so who knows what may be lurking around the bend?
Speaking of bends, things kick off here with the winding rollercoaster that is the aptly-titled introductory song, ‘Dune‘. Huge grooves, thunderous rhythms and impressive drumming drive the song’s swaggering, laid back flow but without question, something gets revealed. A sultry sounding, raspy-throated and utterly incredible vocal powerhouse that is Luna! Don’t get me wrong, the guys are as equally fantastic as well but we all know that without the proper singer, even the best music can fall short. There seems to be no chance in hell of that happening here though thankfully.
Once you’ve regained your senses, there’s a whole range of multifaceted music explored in subsequent songs like the beautiful ‘Bird‘, jumpin’ ‘Jovian Wind‘ or radiant ‘Afterglow‘. For me personally, things really landed well during the middle segment of the record, particularly ‘Zeroth Law‘, ‘Neon‘ and ‘Moebius‘. All three tracks are just incredible, the hypnotic haziness of ‘Zeroth Law‘ with a structured, pattern-like vocal delivery where Luna once again struts her stuff. From there, ‘Neon‘ ratchets up both the tempo and intensity like a driving, pumping engine as a tempest of energized music swirls about. Meanwhile, I believe ‘Moebius‘ may actually be my favorite cut on the record with its own trippier nuances. Things eventually careen headlong into some truly powerful Alt. Rock, the band itself in unison and rolling out a truly stand-out performance. I will let ‘Infinity‘ just surprise and impress you all on its own.
Yet when all is said, done and played, Puta Volcano‘s ‘Harmony Of Spheres‘ is a veritably stand alone musical statement itself. Simply put, it is a fantastic album and I feel that life is better with it than without it but you will have to be the judge of that for yourself. You can do exactly that by streaming it via the Bandcamp embedded player below.
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker