No Rest For The Dead The End of Space

Face it, Loudness and United did nothing to make Japan's metal scene more respectable. After the recent rise in popularity of Church Of Misery among doomheads, the land of the rising sun suddenly seems more accessible for quality metal. No Rest... plays stoner rock with grind vocals, a combination that has yet to be attempted. Last year's Earthling From Mars demo was more Cannibal Corpse-meets-King Crimson, but this new full-length tones down the aggression and focuses more on space groove. "Never See The Sunbeam, My Son" begins like Skynyrd then plows into a death groove as if Obituary's John Tardy were fronting Sweden's Lowrider. "Dislocated" is more like old Brutal Truth with greasy, Core-like breakdowns. After an intro solo by Professor A on the drum kit, "Bleed The Freak" lurches into 2112-era Rush. "Here Comes The New World" sprays yellow machinegun punkcore bullets with bountiful wah-wah interludes. The 52-minute "Any Green Here" is the album's centrepiece: divided into five parts, this psychedelic head trip cruises through a multicoloured galaxy, passing by King Crimson star clusters with Syd Barrett piloting the Rocinante through the black hole of Cygnus X-1. Deep space bass beacons, Stonesque blues and wailing jazzy experimentation permeate the epic, proving that No Rest... remains open-minded to rock embellishments that work exceptionally well. (Deaf American)