This is space rock. A message from the gods. A map of the mind. No, not a map, an invitation. Old Man Gloom, the musical council made up of members of Cave In, Converge and Isis, have reconvened after eight years of silence to stretch music, pull sound, and shape something new. None of the band’s signature moves are missing but this, their fifth album proper, is the primordial goo of post-metal. In the black soup of ‘No’ is everything necessary to create epic soundscapes, crushing power, and all noises in between. ‘Common Species’ ebbs and flows, caveman chug to future shock, and would make any movie terrifying by being on the soundtrack, ‘Shadowed Hand’ is dark ambience as a weapon, lulling anyone nearby into the falsest sense of security only to unleash a barbed, volcanic conclusion, ‘Crescent’ is the song the last man on earth sings to himself, while the 15-minute ‘Shuddering Earth’ is so good you could quickly forget other records exist. But having said all that it’s important to note that track divisions mean little here, this is a journey for the ages, a complete experience. And like a great red shift of music, like space always expanding, ‘No’ will warp and move and always reveal new elements, an album that folk will be figuring out forever. Sounds evolve. Minds blow. Words fail. They should’ve sent a poet.

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