Selim Lemouchi And His Enemies: Earth Air Spirit Fire Water

Blood brother psychs himself up

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Having said all that he needed to say with his former band The Devil’s Blood, Selim Lemouchi has plunged even deeper into the malevolent depths of the mortal soul for his new project.

More pertinently, perhaps, he has moved even further into the realms of psychedelic rock, once again eschewing obvious extreme metal shtick in favour of expressing that unholy vision through a hazy fog of repetitive riffs, sinister atmospherics and mantra-like melodies that crawl under the skin and depart unseen, leaving their nefarious seeds behind.

Where The Devil’s Blood were, at heart, a red-blooded rock band with a huge debt to Blue Öyster Cult and Roky Erickson, Selim Lemouchi And His Enemies exist in a more purposefully amorphous world of bad trips, mysterious rituals and thoughts of evil’s cosmic omnipresence and power. The result is music that demands immersion and surrender; the languid rumble of opener Chiaroscuro sounds both like a funeral march played backwards and the kind of distorted squall that would provide a perfect soundtrack to some hideous paranoid hallucination.

Jaunty stoner rock or Ghost-like goofiness this most certainly isn’t. What it is, is another fascinating journey into Selim Lemouchi’s dark ego – absorbing, unnerving and as real as fear itself.

Dom Lawson

Dom Lawson has been writing for Metal Hammer and Prog for over 14 years and is extremely fond of heavy metal, progressive rock, coffee and snooker. He also contributes to The Guardian, Classic Rock, Bravewords and Blabbermouth and has previously written for Kerrang! magazine in the mid-2000s.