Buried Memories by Sons Of Alpha CentauriRelease date: October 13, 2019
I am a sucker for a physical music release and really do appreciate when a band spends a bit of time to come up with something unique. 13 years ago, much-missed UK label Sound Devastation released the debut self-titled album by nautical post-metallers Sons of Alpha Centauri in some of the best packaging an indie label has ever produced. Last year the band matched that beautiful release by packaging together its second album Continuum with its collaborative EP entitled Buried Memories. Here two of the biggest names in underground music combine with the band to offer up three original tracks and three remixes. Not only are these tracks worthy of listening time but the release is also adorned in a wonderfully designed layout.
It still staggers me that Justin Broadrick can be so many things at the one time. For the first three tracks he takes one song, ‘Hitmen’, and runs it through three of his different guises to come up with results which are startlingly different whilst still holding onto the fabric of the origin. The opening track is a collaboration which highlights the bands murky, instrumental post-metal vibe full of crashing cymbals and a great rumbling depth. The Jesu remix tinges the song with light whilst wrapping cymbal crashes and melting the guitars into a warped drip whilst the JK Flesh remix has the more electro feel with an added industrial fuzz to the guitar work.
James Plotkin mixes two tracks before getting his full flavour into a remix of an old classic. ‘Warhero’ shows the band at its gloomy best with warbling electronics licking around the meandering bass and guitar as the band builds and falls, crashing like waves on a weary fishing crew. Much like ‘Hitmen’ this is a great track highlighting the ability of the band to mould an interesting piece of post-metal as well as the skills of those behind the mixing without too much interference. Where Plotkin really stamps his sound is ‘SS Montgomery’ from the debut album, which he originally mastered back in 2007. The track is given a huge shot of flavour as blasts of electricity sting the intro and clash with the main riff of the original track. He takes the riff into the track earlier than the original and this really brings out the hook and gives the whole track a different groove.
Sometimes on remix releases the identity of the original artist can be lost, but Buried Memories does an excellent job in showcasing the talents of the band as well as those of Broadrick and Plotkin. When you take the six songs as a standalone release it still has enough depth and verity to be a brilliant listen. What really elevates it is the superb packaging and the marriage of the two releases which complement each other and emphasises that Buried Memories is more than just a bonus disk.