On Trial

New Day Rising

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New Day Rising proved to be an ideal title for On Trial's third album from 1999, being that it served as a stylistic bridge between their first two efforts' always spirited but rather indistinguishable Euro stoner rock to the far more flexible neo-psychedelic formula ahead of them (ironically, they'd been there before, early in their career -- before going more "stoner"). Both counts are equally represented here, with the former showing the group still terribly reliant on the echoed vocals and feral acid-fuzz abandon of Monster Magnet (see "Pot of Gold," "Long Time Gone," "Cast It Aside"), while the latter opens up their horizons into organ-drenched, mid-paced head nods ("Flashin'ghast," "As If...") and soft-as-a-pillow, bubbling water guitars ("Doubt," "Sleeper"). Taking these experiments even further, and not always to victorious results, "Do You See Her?" successfully mingles Eastern-flavored sitar with ominous Western guitars; "Outside the Door" offers little more than obscure warped vocal effects; and the titanic, 11-minute title track embarks on a historical odyssey, starting with haunting sounds reminiscent of the Doors' "The End" and eventually crash-landing with a nightmarish vertigo à la Magnet's (yes, them again) "Spine of God." All of which serves to reiterate the notion that New Day Rising was indeed a happy augur of great things to come, with On Trial's ensuing fourth album, 2003's brilliant Blinded by the Sun, delivering on much that was promised here.

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