Music Reviews

The Akashic Field Is a Mystical Heavy Psych Folk Trance From Lamp Of The Universe

Lamp Of The Universe The Akashic Field

The Akashic Field by Lamp Of The Universe, weaves a web of mystery and magic with acid folk and psychedelic rock. The chanted vocal lines call the secrets of the past evoking images of gatherings in the woods around a cauldron fire. Acid rock lead electric guitar and multi instrumental arrangements develop into liquid guitar solos and climactic blow-outs that bring the listener into the skies above. Released on January 11th 2022 by Headspin Records in the Netherlands on colored vinyl and digitally.

Lamp of the Universe formed in 1999 and released over 12 albums including Align In The Fourth Dimension from Sulatron Records which was one of my favorite acid folk albums of 2019. This latest album, The Akashic Field is heavier with hints of doom, stoner, and forward psychedelic rock blended into their acid folk sound.

Based in New Zealand they are self-described as “acid folk / psychedelic / space rock band.” Lamp Of the Universe is the solo outfit for the multi-instrumentalist musician Craig Williamson who has played in the bands Datura and Arc Of Ascent. He is passionate about exploring world instruments and combining those sounds with rock and folk music of the West.

The Akashic Field has flutes, synth, guitars, drums and other percussion with modulated vocals. The varied sound is trance inducing and entertaining. Long held notes hum in the background as the rhythm section move the line forward. The vocals have simple melodies layer in effects that feel both 60s acid folk chant. The instrumentation is both electrified and acoustic with surprise harpsichords and other instruments that evoke traditional folk music of the past.

This latest album The Akashic Field is psychedelic rock with layers of instruments and effects that oscillate and modulate tones carried in reverb and delay. The entire production is using classic psychedelic tropes like fuzz wah guitar solos, vintage organs, tambourines and droning explorations of eastern scales fused with western musical predilections. The songs reflect the classic krautrock approach of longer songs with calm sections that build up and blow-out.

They loop into drones that exude an atmosphere of the occult and mystical visionary ceremonies. The vocals on songs like ‘Seventh Seal’ are chanted tones carrying like a slow ritual dance at a down tempo. The music could have been used in a horror films akin to the original ‘Wicker Man’. The sound has elements of classic 60s and 70s acid and psychedelic folk with bands like The Incredible String Band, Mark Fry, Comus and Magic Carpet. Simultaneously, they share affiliation with contemporary bands like King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard, Hills, and Sleep.

The songs ‘Descendants’ is arguably the heaviest song the band has released. The heavy distortion classic hard rock vocals and driving rhythms blend with a stoner rock sound. They unload a slithering guitar solo coated in sustain through red hot distortion and sassy wah-wah. This heavy sound is lurking throughout the album and reveals itself at climactic moments during the album.

Lamp Of The Universe has consistently released creative music with a signature sound. The latest album The Akashic Field is one of the heaviest they have produced and its done well. The sound and production sound good with each instrument coming through the mix. They achieve a balanced sound with many various instruments which is a difficult task to complete. In fact, this album is able to combine psych music’s equivalent of oil and water with a natural sense of ease. Craig Williamson is experienced and skilled musician who constantly pushes into new musical territories.

The Akashic Field is introspective with psychedelic inspirations that capture an outsider art spiritual vibe. The albums dynamic moves from calm to wild with fluid transitions. Lamp Of The Universe has mixed heavy psych and acid folk together for a unique sound that transports the listener into another state of consciousness.

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