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Blaak Heat - Shifting Mirrors Album Review

Franco-American rockers Blaak Heat take a trip into the desert.

There’s more to these LA-dwelling American-Parisians than desert or stoner rock.

Heavily influenced by Eastern motifs, their third album, Shifting Mirrors, transplants you from California’s dusty garden to a mirage of camels, souks and travelling caravans. It’s a collection of weed-worshipping odes which tremble with bass-heavy licks and enchant you with a sense of consciousness-challenging mystique. For a band that could get away with never-ending jams, the tracks here are, by prog standards, relatively compact.

There’s nothing over seven minutes – an adherence maybe to the lo-fi garage rock ethic that still resonates in their Cali home turf – yet there’s a flow that means you barely notice the breaks. Blaak Heat’s awareness of 60s psychedelic rock also goes beyond the odd flourish.

From the Zeppelin-esque opener Anatolia to the exotic Mola Mamad Djan and The Approach To Al-Mu’tasim the trio picks up on influences from Mahavishnu Orchestra and Magma to Kyuss and Sleep. The end result is a mind-expanding trip across the desert made accessible and engaging by its balance between heavy riffage and less traditional soundscapes.