The majority of the time RIYL lines baffle me as I tend not to hear the influence of most bands listed. Sometimes I just don’t hear it, sometimes I’m not trying to compare bands. However, in the case of The Basement Paintings and their Mystic album the RIYL line is bang on. ISIS, Tool, Pink Floyd (and Godspeed You Black Emperor but I’ve barely heard their work). Looking at those bands you can guess Mystic will be heavy, progressive and psychedelic. And it sure is.
“Nomad” kicks things off with slightly industrialized ambient drone that leads into a thunderous low end rumbling away under stratospheric melody and spacey atmosphere. Its captivating nature sets the mood for the journey ahead separating the listener from reality and sending them off to places beyond terra firma.
The next track, “Veda” along with “Portal” really show the influence of Tool in the bass lines. They’ve got that hypnotic, flowing groove down so pat that if the bass was isolated you might not be able to tell the difference. But The Basement Paintings maintain a more mellow feel throughout, as well as passing on the vocals. Being (mostly) instrumental works very well in this case. Their pensive nature isn’t distracted by any forced notions so the mind is free to follow their spaced out elegance wherever it takes them; often to the most beautiful reaches of the mind.
Mystic is majestic, ethereal and otherworldly, falling into the ambient post-rock sphere. The Basement Paintings paint a vivid tapestry of sound, lush with colour, texture and shade, tapping into the meditative state with narcotic results. It’s no surprise The Basement Paintings were spawned from the same psych breeding grounds as Shooting Guns, The Switching Yard, and Powder Blue as like those bands they’re equally suited to delving into the nuances or simply letting the elegance wash over you, inducing a state of relaxing calm and well being. However in the case of The Basement Paintings the trip is far more astral, hallucinogenic and cosmically mellow.
Mystic proves that Saskatoon is an underrated bright spot in the Canadian scene. The Basement Paintings have made a statement with this album that should not be ignored. Heavy ambient psych can be such a force when done right. And The Basement Paintings do it so right. Hypnotism, groove, atmosphere and transcendence. It’s all there. Dive down the vortex and see for yourself.
Released March 4, 2016.
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