For us at Desert Psychlist one of the greatest thing about discovering a new band is when that band does not conform to the usual tags or labels, a band who intentionally or unintentionally stand a little left of center, a little on the outside, a band who bring something a little different to the table. Wisest of the Mystics are one such band, not only do they bring grooves to the feast that are off-kilter and challenging they also swathe themselves in a veil of mystery and secrecy, posting on their social media pages the legend "we are immortal travelers through the vast expanse of cosmic dust" and a picture of a pool ball emblazoned with the number 7, a number that in some cultures signifies "divine vibration". There is plenty of "divine vibration" to be found on the bands debut "Compass", a four song opus that has its roots in psychedelic rock but it branches reaching into infinity and beyond.
Tribal percussion, accompanied by deep resonating guitar chords, introduces first track "Swamp Thing Loves You", and then it's all aboard the "Starship Groove" as the band lead you by the ear through soundscapes populated by droning guitar textures, shimmering arpeggios and diverse rhythmic pulses. Desert Psychlist guesses you could describe what Wisest of the Mystics present to their listeners as a sort of "mood music", muscular tones and titanic textures weaved into an atmospheric tapestry of repetitious and hypnotic groove. This vibe and feel of moodiness is no more prevalent than on second track "With the Light of the Moon as Your Guide" a song that blends Floydian lysergic atmospherics with those of a more metallic nature, a song that soars above the earth on gossamer wings one minute then crawls across swampy mires on its scaly stomach the next. "The Lesser Sun" follows and here we find Wisest of the Mystics once again flexing their Floydian muscles this time adding a little lyrical colouring to the mix, low -key, clean vocals incanted rather than sung delivered over a backdrop of incessant percussion and heavy doomic groove, the band creating an overall vibe that is unsettling yet strangely spiritual. "Where There's Smoke" brings "Compass" to a close with a song built around a hypnotic throbbing industrial groove anchored by a booming bass line and solid tight percussion, this groove is augmented by some jagged and very fractured guitar work, the guitarist (or guitarists?) utilising an array of techniques and effects to bring an extra level of brooding atmosphere to proceedings.
Industrial and heavy yet at the same time lysergic and experimental Wisest of the Mystics new opus "Compass" is a sometimes challenging but wholly rewarding listen that is well worth checking out..
© 2019 Frazer Jones