[sic] Magazine

The Oscillation – The Start Of The End

A lot has changed since the last physical Oscillation album in 2021: socially, politically, musically, and personally. Life takes its toll on us all and, once again back in the wilds after leaving London behind, Demian Castellanos has now figured that there’s truth in that old adage: if you don’t laugh then you’ll cry. Consequently, The Start Of The End, isn’t nearly as bleak as its title suggests.

This ninth(ish) studio offering from the space-rock/drone ensemble follows a series of digital only, meditative meanderings and marks a return, initially at least, to Untold Futures’ song-driven craft. At peace with himself, and the world however, what sets The Start of The End apart is its second-half serenity.

At the other end of the spectrum, shades-on space-rocker “War On The Mind” quickly proves itself the distorted exception rather than the laid-back rule though. It’s an apt display of shock and awe all done in under 4 mins and deployed via weapons-grade fuzz, deep bass work, tenebrous reverb, and hooky synth melodies that rise from the braying maelstrom beneath. A cathartic exorcising of demons (Demians?), Castellanos then cuts the tether and drifts through pulsing instrumentals and intergalactic radio interference, celestial zen coalescing into hazy neo-psych explorations.

Slow-motion electronics broadcast into the static-filled cosmos, gnarly solos blowing in from light years away, barely audible against the background hum of tone generators. Insistent kosmische hypnotises in the form of power surges, back-masked guitar flowing like the contents of a lava lamp. Rippling solar winds and flatlining synth float through the upper magnetosphere, dreamy ambience lapping at the pearly gates, lullaby vocals tracing unseen field lines in kaleidoscopic vision. The Start Of The End feels like tipping over the event horizon with nought but a smiling captain and entropy for company.

Best track: “War On The Mind”

~The Start Of The End is released 24th May 2024 via All Time Low.~