Monday 2 March 2020

ARIDONIA ~ ARIDONIA ....... review

Been a while since Desert Psychlist journeyed down to the southern end of the America's and what better excuse can we have for taking that trip than reviewing an album from a band we first brought to your attention on these pages, back in 2017, when we covered their debut EP "EP1".
Aridonia, an Argentinian collective from JuJuy (now based in Buenos Aires), delivered with "EP1" a stunning collection desert flavoured stoner rock grooves tinted with elements of Color Haze (ish) textures and jazz-fusion flourishes but then seemingly disappeared into the ether. Thankfully there was no parting of the ways and three years after the release of "EP1" Aridonia have returned from the void with a full blown self-titled debut album, "Ardonia", an album that picks up the journey into the cosmos Aridonia started, with "EP1", and takes things that little bit further.

"Abismos" opens up "Aridonia" in genteel fashion with Fernando Echenique (guitar/vocals) waxing lyrical (in Spanish) over a backdrop of economically picked guitar arpeggios, Echenique and fellow guitarist Benjamin Yecora's differing tones complimenting each other perfectly. The tranquility and serenity of this opening exchange is however shattered when Matias Paiva (drums/percussion) and Tomas Longombardo (bass) enter the fray and suddenly things start to get a little heavier and a whole lot more interesting, the quartet exploding into prog-like metallic groove driven by Paiva's intricate drum patterns and Logombardo's jazzy bass lines.
It would seem that during the three year period between "EP1" and "Aridonia" the band have been honing up on their prog chops as much of "Aridonia" is informed by complex arrangements and angular shifts in time. The band do not wholly abandon their more "stoner" leanings however and you will be glad to hear that there is still plenty of grit and grime to be found in Aridonia's sonic assault, as they demonstrate on the excellent "Fantasmagoria" and the chugging blues tinted "La Serpiente y la Manzana", but it is Aridonia's more intricate and convoluted tomes, like the shape-shifting "Panacea" and the semi-doomic "Leviatan", that will really catch the ear, fire the imagination and have you reaching for that repeat/replay button again and again.

If your a fan of metal, psych, stoner or hard rock played with a high degree of technical flare and feel then there is plenty to salivate over on "Aridonia", let's just hope it's not another three years before we get to hear the next album.
Check it out …..

© 2020 Frazer Jones

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