Ecstatic Vision – “Astral Plane” (Stereogum Premiere)

The Philadelphia trio Ecstatic Vision have toured with metal acts like YOB and Enslaved, and they’re signed to the metal-associated label Relapse Records, and they look like a metal band. But Ecstatic Vision’s forthcoming five-song debut, Sonic Praise, only occasionally intersects with metal, and when it does, it resembles bands like Hawkwind or Monster Magnet or Earthless. These are tripped-out, sun-baked, cloud-high psychedelic jams drawing from free jazz, Krautrock, and Afrobeat, resulting in music that lives up to the lofty promises made in both the band’s name and their album’s title. To the extent this stuff might be conflated, confused, or associated with metal, it comprises one of the best metal albums of 2015. More aptly, though, it recalls the old Spacemen 3 album title (and mission statement), Taking Drugs To Make Music To Take Drugs To. (To be fair, I have no idea if any of the guys in Ecstatic Vision have ever so much as considered a single toke; their music, though, suggests they have vast experience with all number of hallucinogens.) We’re premiering the album track “Astral Plane,” whose title should give you some further idea what you’re in for. Tune in, turn on, drop out.

Ecstatic Vision’s Sonic Praise is out 6/30 via Relapse. They’ve got a few upcoming tour dates, too:

06/23 New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
06/26 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
06/30 Richmond, VA @ Gallery5
07/01 Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony