AMN Reviews: Combat Astronomy – Kundalini Apocalypse

Combat Astronomy is a project of British ex-pat James Huggett, who teams up with saxophonist / organist Martin Archer and vocalist Elaine di Falco (Caveman Shoestore, Hughscore, Thinking Plague) on this release. Huggett handles most of the songwriting and recording, while di Falco’s efforts appear subtly on just two tracks. Despite this effort being essentially a solo project, its rich, multi-tracked, full-band sound belies that fact.

At first listen, Kundalini Apocalypse comes across as a Guapo / Djam Karet / King Crimson hybrid, with repetitive heavy bass riffing, overlaid with horns and other effects. If you’re a fan of categorization, feel free to apply the labels avant-jazz, brutal prog, or industrial metal. But Combat Astronomy is more than just muscle. Several of the tracks, Telos Reprise being one, fall within the ambient / electronic vein. Cave War, the 13-minute finale, begins with a lengthy haunting soundscape, but ends with a freak out worthy of the Flying Luttenbachers.

Overlaying free-jazz blowing on top of metal rhythms is not new, but Combat Astronomy does it with more aplomb than most. Highly recommended.

The album is free to stream on Bandcamp.

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