Friday 31 January 2020


Jake Lewis is a man who likes do things a little differently, the multi-instrumentalist first came to Desert Psychlist's attention via "Blood of the Raven"" a stunning doomic opus from his other project Burn Ritual. Burn Ritual started life as a one man affair, with Lewis playing almost everything, and resulted in a two track EP entitled "Like Suffering" but then soon morphed into a fully fledged band for the release of the widely acclaimed "Blood of the Raven". Not a man content to sit on his laurels Lewis almost immediately started writing music again, however the music that was flowing out of his head had a more lysergic, psychedelic edge, an edge that didn't quite fit the proto-doomic remit he was exploring with Burn Ritual. Wanting to get this music heard Lewis recruited Sun of Grey vocalist/guitarist Freddy Allen to handle bass duties for "Eye of the Sun" a new project that was forming in his mind, a project that would once again see him holding down the bulk of the instrumentation and be released under the collective banner of Gypsybyrd.

Freddy Allen's deep booming bass motif introduces "Prisoner", the first track of "Eye of the Sun", and almost immediately Desert Psychlist can understand why Lewis needed to find an alternative vehicle for his latest musical scribblings as the music emanating out of Desert Psychlist's speakers is as far removed from Burn Ritual's Sabbathesque bluster as it is possible to get. Where with Burn Ritual Lewis came at us with all guns blazing and riffs roaring here we find him using a subtler palette of colours to paint his soundscapes with. There is a hazy, almost chilled, feel to the music Lewis brings to the table on "Eye of the Sun", a feel that caresses rather than bludgeons, this is not to say songs like "Cosmic Eyes", "The Quest for the Enlightened One" and "The Mountain" are bereft of any elements of "heaviness" it's just that that "heaviness" is approached with a little more consideration and subtlety.

Desert Psychlist, when reviewing, Burn Ritual's "Blood of the Raven", could not help but make some references to the albums Sabbathesque qualities however those references were approached from the perspective of Sabbath's heavier doomic tomes. Those Sabbathesque qualities are also present on Gypsybyrd's "Eye of the Sun" but instead of taking them from the heavier end of Sabbath's doomic spectrum Lewis has opted for the more lysergic side of the Birmingham Four's sonic output.. Imagine if you can that Sabbath had made their name not on the strength of "War Pigs" and "Iron Man" but on the heavily phased lysergic majesty of "Planet Caravan", and if you can..., then imagine what a whole album of songs like that would sound like. Wonder no longer!
Check it out ….

© 2020 Frazer Jones

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