Sometimes things need to marinate for a spell before the flavor really comes out. Sometimes, as is the case with Acid Mothers Temple and the Cosmic Inferno, it takes over a decade. Back when I bought this CD I wasn’t at all prepared for the slow psychedelic burn that IAO Chant From the Cosmic Inferno was – my recollection at the time was I heard it had amazing guitar heroics and had a vibe similar to Boris, whose Pink was my only source of comparison. After one or two attempts it promptly went back to my CD tower, then was relegated to a binder when I needed to make more room for music I was listening to more often.
Fast forward to 2019 and the time spent listening to music from all genres and periods have paid off, because this thing really hits. One track at just over 51 minutes, the song is an homage to Steve Hillage of the prog rock group Gong – another band I knew nothing about until reading up on this album. “IAO Chant From the Cosmic Inferno” is written up as a play on Gong’s song “Master Builder” from their 1974 album You. That song is a sweet and expansive seven minute prog jam. This is something much bigger and experimental. There is a recognizable riff in the beginning, and it’s used as a foundation to slowly drift off into the ether, where strict repetition morphs into alleys and avenues where swirling guitars and keyboards meet drums only remotely interested with locking in a specific beat.
The crux of Acid Mothers Temple has always been guitarist Kawabata Mikoto, and it’s no surprise his playing is the highlight here. But his backing band, a largely interchangeable crew partially made up from his previous incarnation as Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. is phenomenal at giving his solos and melodies support and creating an interesting layer of sound in its own right. At 51 minutes I won’t lie and say I’m captivated the entire time, but there’s a good portion (about 25 minutes up front) where I’m held, and then slowly drift in and out as part grab for my attention. It makes for an interesting listen, as different parts will reveal themselves each time, making IAO Chant From the Cosmic Inferno somewhat of a unique experience each time.