Skip to main content

Samsara Blues Experiment - One With the Universe album review

German psych rock mystics delve deeper into the aether

Cover art for Samsara Blues Experiment - One With the Universe album

In Eastern mysticism, the prevalent concept of cycles essentially holds that there truly is no death, but rather all living beings constantly pass through cycles of birth and rebirth, taking on brighter and more enlightened forms with each incarnation. The concept is called ‘samsara’ – a fitting idea around which to build a psych rock power trio as visionary as this. Now entering their second decade, the German three-piece return with their fourth mesmerising arcade of psychotropic jams, jazzy interplay and hammering salvos of speaker-blowing 70s proto-metal. 2013’s Waiting For The Flood was a fuzz-drenched affair that lifted lustrous, Hendrix-inspired blues licks above the druggy riffage beneath. One With The Universe channels that sound even deeper into a swirling, prismatic vortex of hypnotic grooves, hallucinatory fretwork and consciousness-expanding lyricism. The 15-minute title track offers a weightless voyage through spacey noodling, strident grooving and seditiously transfixing Middle Eastern interludes, while opener Vipassana delivers a straight-up psych metal banger. The jams are massive and the trip is heavy – best not to operate heavy machinery right after listening.

Camped out in Southern California, Joe pens features, reviews albums and covers live shows for Metal Hammer and Classic Rock. When he’s not bothering his neighbours with Rammstein, Joe’s typically off playing ice hockey, fumbling around on a bass or letting his dogs guilt him into a nice long walk.