Sendelica - Cromlech Chronicles II album review

Two evocative pieces of improvised inner space exploration

Sendelica - Cromlech Chronicles II album artwork

You can trust Louder Our experienced team has worked for some of the biggest brands in music. From testing headphones to reviewing albums, our experts aim to create reviews you can trust. Find out more about how we review.

After last year’s Cromlech Chronicles comes this, its companion album. It was recorded near the same ancient burial sites in Wales, but this is very much yang to its predecessor’s yin. Whereas that album approached a sort of Hawkwind-like sonic attack, this meditative acoustic offering is space rock without the rock. The group’s guitarist, Pete Bingham, has said that Sendelica’s approach here is close in spirit to the loose improvisations of Japanese collective Taj Mahal Travellers, and one could add to that the ritualistic feeling of their compatriots Ghost. And with the guest musicians on violin and cello, those pioneers of quasi-medieval acid raga the Third Ear Band also spring to mind. Cheryl Beer features on all manner of percussion and vocal incantations, but rhythms are sporadic. The 18-minute Ripples Of The Megaliths meanders on its course as if the journey is an end in itself, with spartan guitar chords and a saxophone just breaking free towards the close. Even Though My Mouth Is Silent is of similar length and made of similar stuff, with the addition of what sounds like the Mellotron choir from Popul Vuh’s Aguirre floating around like massed backing vocals.

Mike Barnes

Mike Barnes is the author of Captain Beefheart - The Biography (Omnibus Press, 2011) and A New Day Yesterday: UK Progressive Rock & the 1970s (2020). He was a regular contributor to Select magazine and his work regularly appears in Prog, Mojo and Wire. He also plays the drums.