[sic] Magazine

Velvet Elevator – Principium

Rounding up most of the planet’s heavy psych talent of late, Cardinal Fuzz are back once again and this time they trail Wollongong warlocks Velvet Elevator and their hard-hitting debut in their wake. Billed as the European edition of Principium, which first hit the shelves of New South Wales earlier this year, it’s an album loosely built on the apocalyptic content of The Book of Revelation and, appropriately enough, it a soundtrack to truly annihilatory sequences of sound during, for example, its three-part “Children Of The Sun” dirge and massive “Blood Moon Prophecy” finale.

Full-frontal percussion works you over like a punchbag while it rains railway sleepers of guitar down onto high-tension cables to create a ferocious racket reverbed out to mysticism. Marauding doom-rock with designs on metal, there’s a brutish swagger to the chugathon delivery too. And then there’s the bass, which has been detuned to the point of liquid fuzz, devastating jangles treated to the full weight of a cosmic bag of spanners than then turns out to actually be a consignment of sonic screwdrivers.

As destructive a force as Velvet Elevator present themselves, however, they’re also a band that’s a little limited and, weirdly, unintentionally camp when the gruff vocal goes full doom. That said, when Principium locks on and pulverises all before it, such as on the epic closer, it’s an indistinct joy to behold, albeit one that’s heavier than a neutron star. Whatever you make of it, it’s one that’ll sure make you pay attention.

Best track: “Children Of The Sun II”

~Principium is out now via Cardinal Fuzz.~