Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere
Hailing from San Francisco the classic doom metal and sludge trifecta Acid King have been raining fire for over two decades. The last several years they have been in limbo, but finally they are poised to release another fantastic album to add to their collection of excellent full lengths.
“Intro” is a spacey fuzzy welcome to Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere. It’s a fine instrumental, as fine as you could expect coming from a band that really knows how to hit home with good no nonsense metal distorted to a rich Sabbath mystique.
“Silent Pictures” has that same feel and transitions right in from intro’s outro. A great track with a steady rhythm. You can feel how influential this band is on the likes of Kylesa, The Sword, Orange Goblin, and other heavy hitters from the modern stoner metal scene you may be more familiar with. “Silent Pictures” moves like water. It has a sick flow. Legendary frontwoman Lori. S has a fantastic voice that has a very unique charm to it, and her vocals carry over through the melody. “Coming Down From Outer Space” and “Laser Headlights” have that same cutting edge style of riff; it’s a very powerful effect that kind of takes you out there somewhere that might be complimented by powerful mind altering substances or schizophrenia. You know once you really start to get into “Laser Headlight” there’s a feeling of entanglement with cosmic forces, and maybe it’s a scary feeling but it’s also kind of empowering too. The rhythm section of Joey Osbourne and Mark Lamb really help bring that omniscent undercurrent to life.
“Red River” fits perfectly in the middle of the album. It’s certainly a focal point on Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere, and reminds me of a lot of powerful jams from Sleep. Jerusalem does come to mind. It just keeps going and going like an astral trip.
As if they weren’t trying to get your head out of its space and into the the atmosphere, “Infinite Skies” really pinpoints the trajectory of their music. I think the recording, production, and everything about the album is really incredibly done. “Center of Everywhere” takes you onto the next step of this incredible journey. By now you probably get the feeling like you’re taken exactly where the band wants you. Lori’s voice isn’t incredibly loud, but it’s very powerful. When she sings the chorus and hits that really powerful riff you’re in the g-spot.
“Outro” ends the album, but it doesn’t blow the fuse. This gem could just keep going and going all night without wearing out. “Outro” and “Intro” go well together, and because the album is written the same way concurent throughout each track Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere doesn’t really have an ending to it unless you manage to wake yourself up from the Acid King induced daze and hit stop.
Acid King is one of those bands who have somehow managed to release not a single bad album in twenty two years. Not a single boring song in a history older than many of the fans I see coming out to metal shows these days. That’s something considering that doom metal, drone, and associated genres really do tend to drain out a band’s creativity throughout the years. It’s very difficult to write the same slow jams over and over again without taking a toil on the listener. I think Acid King have found a niche where they know how to write good songs, and release an album when they’re good and ready to hit you with something original but also familiar. The band isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done since 1971. It’s really not cutting edge in the sense that they’re new and original, but it’s cutting edge because the band knows how to write a song the way they were meant to feel when Black Sabbath began writing this kind of melodic low tune dredge back in the day. It’s an odyssey.
As an album reviewer it’s part of my life to just sift through endless albums that really do not stick with me. One learns how to just handle crap (or music that just doesn’t appeal to my personal taste to put it nicely,) and sometimes an album will catch my ear and I’ll say this is cool, but there’s an unusual lot of albums that I stumble across at twenty nine years of age that fit in my record collection. I don’t buy new albums very much if at all anymore, but Middle of Nowhere, Center of Everywhere belongs in my collection. I feel like it would make a fitting addition as well to anyone who really enjoys slow, trippy, and heavy jams. I barely ever give out a 5 for an album even if it is by bands I like and feel should be releasing 5s, but in this special rare case Acid King have made fans wait for good reason. This is a killer. (Metal Nick)