Revisionist history has painted the original psychedelic era as something sunny, paisley-printed and oozing with love. But really, a lot of the music of the late '60s bent minds toward the darker realms of cosmic consciousness: confusion, phobia, neurosis and, fuck, even Satan. The members of Comets on Fire -- clearly the veterans of quite a few bad trips themselves -- know all too well the angst and menace lurking within incense and peppermints. Blue Cathedral is a hallucinatory, helter-skelter excursion through a dystopia of toxic screams, senses-smearing reverberation and riffs the size and shapes of demons, veering between Blue Cheer brutality and the pastoral hysteria of Pink Floyd's More. While not radically different from 2002's Field Recordings From the Sun, this disc maintains the band's gradual comedown from the acidic barrage of its self-titled debut to a more churning and feverish haze. Like an inferno full of whiskey-spitting imps and the smoldering ashes of souls, Blue Cathedral is a brain-frying, diabolically populated and ultimately unshakeable nightmare.
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