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Darxtar: Aged To Perfection

Swedish rockers boldly go where Hawkwind went before.

The spirit of Hawkwind looms large in the ethos of Swedish space-rockers Darxtar. They were formed in 1989 by guitarist/vocalist K. Soren Bengtsson, largely as a response to the death of Robert Calvert, and they duly set about exploring the same intergalactic realms as their illustrious forebears.

By 1997 they could be seen backing Nik Turner at live gigs and pooling their combined talents under the banner, Hawxtar. As recently as 2010 they served as Turner’s band at live shows in Wales.

Their seventh album follows a few detours into high-concept prog and more experimental music, and finds the five-piece back on a Hawkwind tip. Some of it’s inspired, not least the heaving stoner metal of Tired Nature, nearly nine minutes’ worth of chugging guitar and squiggly keyboard FX. The same weird ambience is all over Mörkret 2, though too often they seem content to amble along at a more sedentary pace.

Thus the blissful cosmic reverie of Some Things, and particularly the 11-plus minutes of Fiska På Gräsmattan, are either numbingly pedestrian or else trippily fantastic, depending on your propensity for lighting up a fat one, pulling on the headphones and cranking up the volume.

Freelance writer for Classic Rock since 2008, and sister title Prog since its inception in 2009. Regular contributor to Uncut magazine for over 20 years. Other clients include Word magazine, Record Collector, The Guardian, Sunday Times, The Telegraph and When Saturday Comes. Alongside Marc Riley, co-presenter of long-running A-Z Of David Bowie podcast. Also appears twice a week on Riley’s BBC6 radio show, rifling through old copies of the NME and Melody Maker in the Parallel Universe slot. Designed Aston Villa’s kit during a previous life as a sportswear designer. Geezer Butler told him he loved the all-black away strip.