If the eclectic and un-second-guess-able (I’m sure that’s a word) When Mountains Speak can wander between music driven by a heavy rhythmic groove on the one hand and free-form experimentation on the other, Cascading Cosmos sets its sonic stall somewhere in between those two extremes. I suppose by anybody else’s reckoning, that would make the track middle-of-the-road, but that would only be the case in their world if the road were spiralling up a distant mountain in search of spiritual enlightenment. Or wandering through shamanically conjured otherworlds. Or perhaps lead to oneness with the universe. I mean that even When Mountains Speak’s middle ground is odd and extreme by anyone else’s standards.
On reflection, middle-ground is perhaps the wrong term. Cascading Cosmos is forged less through conformity and more through the band’s ability to temper their more wandering and wayward urges with more rhythmic and purposeful musical structures.
And so we have a track that moves and meanders, seemingly at will, but is always guided by the gentle drum patterns that loosely tether the song and the hypnotic bass pulses which seem to corral and usher the guitar away from its excesses and down a more rhythmic line of attack. And as the song moves along its nearly ten minute journey, it seems to merge into a more cohesive form, more driven by a common purpose, more focused.
The result is a song which seems wilfully free and loosely played but isn’t as chaotic and random as it might first appear. The rhythm section is always in control. If the bassline takes off on a flight of fantastic free-form, the beat holds things together, and if the drums need to explore the fringes of the song’s potential, then the bassline is there to hold the musical line. All this leaves the guitar free to roam, but its roaming always seems set at the perfect distance. Far enough out to be creative and unexpected, near enough to serve the song.
As always, When Mountain Speak delivers the goods. The goods might be odd and eclectic, exploratory and at liberty to go slightly off sonic message, adventurous and experimental. But if you didn’t expect that, you have come to the wrong place.