Desert Psychlist returns to Italy for the subject of our latest review and before you start preparing yourself for another wordy praise fest on the Italian "scuzzy" acid doom scene let us tell you that not an ounce of "scuzziness" is to be found on this particular release. Red Moon Shaman seem to be another of those bands who like to shroud themselves in mystery, Desert Psychlist can find no information regarding the bands personnel and what photo's we have seen, on their social media, depict a trio clad head to foot in monkish attire. Personnel and instrumentation don't really matter though because at the end of the day we are here for the music and Red Moon Shaman's music is an exhilarating and constantly shifting blend of eastern exotica, spaced out cosmicness and good old heavy rock that refuses to be put in a conveniently labelled box. The band have just recently released their debut album "Chapter One" and already we are looking forward to "Chapter Two".
A Shamanic mantra introduces opening song "Pale Rider" and sets the scene for something slow and doomic but Red Moon Shaman are not a band who deal in the expected and instead explode into a strident stoner rock gallop replete with fuzzed out bass and guitar riffs driven by tight busy percussion over which strong vocals tell their tale in clean but grainy tones. We did however mention the word "shifting" in our opening piece and as the song approaches its finale that "shifting" starts to make its presence felt with the song first moving into heavy psych waters, guitar solos majestically soaring and swooping overhead, and then subtly slowing down and taking on a more doom-like dynamic. Up next is "Rolling Sunshine" and Desert Psychlist cannot find enough good things to say about this song, its vocal melody and accompanying harmonies are like a drug you never want to kick, they go around and around in your head long after the song has reached its finish, and the eastern motifs and themes that lie just beneath the songs thrumming riffs are a thing of rare beauty. "Spirits" follows, its caustic guitar riffs routinely subsiding to allow the vocals space to weave their melodic magic then erupting again when those spells have been weaved, the song also takes on one of the bands customary "shifts" as it reaches its close with things moving towards something a little more heady and lysergic. "Thorns" finds Red Moon Shaman adding a little touch of rocky space to proceedings while "Filaret" finds them ramping that space element up a level and adding a little proto-doomic bluster to the mix. Penultimate track "Mindcrawler" has an almost mainstream vibe, its easy on the ear groove is coupled with an equally easy on the ear vocal melody, it also boasts a killer guitar solo that sees the guitarist making full use of his wah pedal. "WanderLUST" brings things to a close, it is a song that amalgamates everything that has gone on before and throws us a glimpse of where this band might takes us next, post-rock textures, swirling spaced out backdrops, lilting harmonies and powerful lead vocals all combining together to create something very special indeed.