"Space Is The Corpse of Time"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Zebulon Pike the explorer was born in 1779 and was one of the most well-known adventurers who helped to map the early United States, travelling extensively across the American South and West, making contact with native peoples and lending his name to a mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Pike died while still relatively young during the War of 1812.

What the real Zebulon Pike would make of the band that bears his name is highly speculative and not likely to keep most people up nights. However, there is a connection, because Pike the man was not afraid to head into strange territories and neither is Zebulon Pike the band. These instrumental whackos defy any easy categorization, although I have heard them tagged as a "doom-prog" band.  The doom quotient of Zebulon Pike is only a small facet of their overall sound and is inadequate as a description. "Prog" is a more accurate term if prog is understood to mean "unpredictable and heading into new territories".

This is an EXTREMELY acquired taste and not recommended to those who like easily describable music. "Space Is The Corpse of Time" features five massive tunes that sound like an insane collision between King Crimson, mid-period Voi Vod, eccentric instrumentalists Stinking Lizaveta and Mastodon. But only a little bit. First tune "Spectrum Threshold" starts as the most accessible, with a lumbering, easily digestible chugging metal riff. That lasts for a couple of minutes before things get real weird, slowing down and meandering in an angular, melodic fashion. The heaviness of the bass is astounding and the percussion is bizarre beyond belief...huge clusters of clashing cymbals and single percussion strikes. Weird space noises lead to a monolithic conclusion. And that's the EASIEST tune to get into...

"Echoic Worlds" favors a more post-metal kind of sound while "Powers of the Living--Manifestations of the Dead" is fucked beyond sanity...a long section of jazz fusion/King Crimson plodding coupled with experimental noise, sandwiched between heavy and epic riffs. The title track actually brings some speed into the equation and is the tune where Voi Vod comparisons are most warranted, but like Voi Vod in a macabre mating dance with Stinking Lizaveta. "Trigons of Force" ends the album with lots and lots of riffs in both heavy and minor keys before the tune ends with kind of a melodic whimper instead of the cataclysmic explosion one might expect.

You want weird, you got it. Frankly, by the time "Trigons of Force" rolled around, I'd had about as much Zebulon Pike as I could handle. There's no doubt there's some super-innovative and atmospheric stuff going on here, but some pretentious boredom as well. The freakier you feel, the more it will appeal.