Review: Fricsvel – Space Beyond Space (Satatuhatta Tapes, Jul 20)

There are quite a few keywords that, if included in an album description, are instant attractors for me, but the same isn’t really true for bands, because most comparisons between artists—especially those made by the artist themselves—are notoriously unreliable. That being said, if C.C.C.C. is brought up in any capacity, I’m automatically all in, and Space Beyond Space, the most recent tape from relatively new Finnish duo Fricsvel, thankfully does not disappoint. The aforementioned comparison was made as part of a demonstrative stylistic continuum between the legendary Japanese project and Skullflower, and for the most part it tracks; the two ten-minute slabs of psychedelic mayhem evolve from unstable pedal-distortion rumble and sheet metal shriek to fleeting bouts of delirium, whether it’s the distant, deranged vocal specters at the end of “Within the Outer Planes” or the hallucinatory layers that shift and smother on “History of the Afterlife.” Despite these presumably being studio recordings, they still feel sweeping and gargantuan, and would sound just as majestic flooding the cavernous confines of a massive warehouse venue as they do on cheap earbuds or portable speakers. Fricsvel members Veikko Rajanen and Mikko Ahokas faced multiple tall orders with this release in living up to the high expectations set by both the introductory text and the memorable cover artwork, but their soaring conjurations easily surmount them all. See you on the other side of the asteroid belt.