The Crystal Axis Albumn Cover
Stepping out of your capsule, you survey an unexplored wilderness, fresh with opportunity and danger. The natives are restless, the natural environment astonishing, and the onset of darkness urgent. Everything is set for a great adventure. Except that, well… it isn’t.

Midnight Juggernauts have previously sent us hurtling out to the unknown edges of space, and with this album they bring us down on a new planetary frontier. Mixing the primitive with the futuristic, The Crystal Axis combines pulsing electric currents and vast harmonic grids with raw aboriginal beats and organic sounds.

Flashes of artificial arpeggios blast out and ricochet through a dark jungle of rustling rhythms and savage drumbeats. All the while exotic riffs chitter in the undergrowth, and synthetic cicadas saw into the night. Elsewhere; wafting, wavering chords explore the electronic echoes of great subterranean depths.

Midnight Juggernauts have really outdone themselves in creating a virtual biomass within this album’s soundscape. While there are a few places where they return to the vaster and more open style of their previous album, for the most part this album is a dense, claustrophobic affair. But for all the technical brilliance in creating and bringing these sounds together, none of it really speaks to me. No more than listening to the sounds of a real jungle would.

And that’s the problem here. It may sound paradoxical, but this incredible hive of sounds is simply too intangible. It’s full of wonderful imagery; yet it’s impossible to find anything within it to latch onto. I can’t find the story, the human element, amongst the mass of noise. So in the end as far as my ears are concerned it’s all just a bit of aural wankerey. I applaud the effort, but not so much the result.

5/10

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