This is the third chapter in Mondo Drag’s prog-psych saga since the band relocated from Iowa to the more cultured environs of Oakland, California.
The more musically diverse climate and lengthy stints on the road have inspired them to cultivate a more rootsy warmth, and evolve from the proto-metal of their earlier work in favour of firmly committing to conjuring up classic, British-inspired prog. Hammond organ and Mellotron-drenched workouts of time-travelling psych, in the vein of Pink Floyd, King Crimson and Yes, transcend dreamily spacious realms while moments of Atomic Rooster and Rare Bird-inspired grooves kick in when the band come back down from space for riff-driven swagger.
Moments of delicate introspection shimmer forth, only to expand again to vast expanses of otherworldly, Roger Dean-style landscapes.
As well as showcasing the band’s mastery at penning massive sounding space hymns alongside shorter but no less epic numbers, The Occultation… was recorded live, creating an intense chemistry that few bands can accomplish in these days of studio trickery.