It’s difficult to put your thumb on Dead Sea Apes’ genre. Just in the past five years, the three piece instrumental outfit released 5 LPs. Their third LP, Lupus, treads a post-rock landscape and infuses elements of psychedelic rock. High Evolutionary, their fourth, weighs more on the psychedelic tone to stray the post-rock path and opt for conciseness. Spectral Domain adheres to Apes’ progression as a psychedelic trio. They compose five colossal tracks which plunge deep into psychedelic territory and splotch electronic sounds to induce claustrophobia.
Spectral Domain mesmerizes and instills apprehension for an enveloping listen. The opener, “Universal Interrogator”, floats with desert guitar tone and thrumming bass. The strings, trancelike, repeat until cymbal splashes and snare pops tether the song to a head bobbing groove. “The Unclosing Eye” slingshots through the cosmos with complex drum patterns, whereas “True Believers” is meditative. Sand dune guitars pour over the bass as it flips between high and low frequencies to slice the tense air. An electronic piano weaves through the soundscape before it washes into the background as the instruments erupt into a wall of noise.
Textures of electronic chirps and whirrs hang on the instruments. They skirt the edges of the riffs to hold each song together in a way which conjures celestial intrigue. Any single noise sounds odd, though their sum boxes you in a spectral void. It’s when you focus on the psychedelic riffs, the space engulfs you with unease. “Sixth Side of the Pentagon” is a perfect example. A throbbing bass palpitates over pockets of stifled air while the drum beat flickers and twists. It’s an experience marked by minimal guitar and capstones Apes’ perpetual evolution as an instrumental behemoth.Spectral Domain is a journey through the cosmos marked by anxiety. Although the psychedelic trip is brief, its ethereal embodiment inspires wonder as to which domains Dead Sea Apes will venture next.
Score: 8.0 / 10.0
Listen to “Universal Interrogator” above; purchase Spectral Domain here.