The Moon Is a Dead World

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Gospel's The Moon Is a Dead World may well be the first post-hardcore album to owe a heavy (albeit quite likely unconscious) debt to '70s prog-sludge freaks Hawkwind. There's a long stretch late in this album where the Hawkwind comparison is particularly apt, from the chugging space rock instrumental "Opium" to the epic build of the six-minute "What Means of Witchery," which transforms itself from an almost ambient opening through some passages of uncharacteristic delicacy before exploding into messy riff-pounding and unintelligible screaming (both courtesy of leader Adam Dooling), before culminating in "As Far as You Can Throw Me," in which Jon Pastir's vintage synthesizer sounds like he's channeling Hawkwind's resident electronics expert Dik Mik as drummer Vinny Rosenbloom basically goes utterly psycho all over his kit in a style not often seen since the heyday of Rush's Neil Peart. As in Hawkwind, more is most definitely more in Gospel's sound world, where subtlety is a concept that offers little interest. The Moon Is a Dead World is so thoroughly prog rock in its outlook, in fact, that it may well be the album that makes plain the long-suppressed links between Slint and King Crimson.

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