Music Reviews


Atomic Ritual

Liquor and Poker

Just when we’ve all begun to tire of the stoner rock brats, along come Nebula with their third full-length offering, proving there’s still some life left in the old horse. Bred in the same desert that gave us Kyuss, Union Carbide Productions and Mudhoney, Nebula even have time to spare for the occasional Alice Cooper sound bite (check the “Eighteen”-ish “Paradise Engineer”) and the more drugged-out Sabbath riffs. Mostly, the LA trio remains heavily indebted to all aspects of late ’60s/early ’70s psych-metal, like Cream, Hendrix and MC5.

Impeccably produced by Masters of Reality’s Chris Goss (who’s also worked with Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age), Atomic Ritual is a tight and dense assemblage of ferocious, claustrophobic sounds delivered with sudden urgency and restrained tension. Hard rockers “So it Goes” and “More” are whipped out with a snarl and a bite. Although, it’s the more chilled-out psychedelia of “Carpe Diem,” “The Beast” and “Paradise Engineer” that really sets these guys apart from the competition.

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