REVIEW: Ecstatic Vision – “Sonic Praise” (2015)

Ecstatic Vision

Doug Sabolick is probably best known for his tenure in the metalcore group A Life Once Lost. But with his new band, Ecstatic Vision, Sabolick has managed to mine psychedelic rock’s rich history and made an album that hearkens back to bands like Hawkwind, Amon Duul, Sun Ra, and even hints of Fela Kuti here and there. Despite having just 5 tracks, “Sonic Praise” is a long and meditative record and it’s something that should be listened to in full.

The record opens with the droning “Journey”. It’s relatively short, clocking in at just around 5 minutes. However, it pretty much sets up the tone of the record with its emphasis on guitars and repetitive melodies. “Journey” is followed by the 12-minute guitar freakout of “Astral Plane”, which blends the sound of 70s krautrock with afrobeat’s heavy emphasis on percussion.

Ecstatic Vision have managed to find a formula that works, which is why tracks like “Don’t Kill The Vibe” and “Sonic Praise” continue on the foundation that they built during the first section of the record. The record closes with the 9-minute long “Cross the Divide” which is honestly one of the best psych-rock tracks I’ve heard in recent years.

Ecstatic Vision are an exciting new band that have managed to mine old ideas and make them sound fresh. While comparisons to Hawkwind may make them come off as knockoffs, there’s still enough originality here that puts them head and shoulders above their peers. “Sonic Praise” is a record that deserves multiple listens. It’s the kind of record where you will find something new every time you put it on, which is a rare feat nowadays.

Listen to “Sonic Praise” on Ecstatic Vision’s Bandcamp page.

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