Blaak Heat - Shifting Mirrors Album Review

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

Blaak Heat Shifting Mirrors album art

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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.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.