While The Acid Gospel Experience is not a radical departure from Scenic's previous expansive, eerie, rock, mood music instrumentals, it's a satisfying and evocative collection of pieces. And a long one, too, measuring 73 minutes, with most of the nine tracks clearing the five-minute mark with much to spare. While the curtain-opening "Year of the Rat" might be typical of the band in its long, graceful statement of semi-hypnotic instrumental themes, "Lightspeed" enters far more psychedelic soundtrack territory, sounding a little like a mix of exploitation psych movies and Bollywood with its zapping electronics, sitar, and furious galactic beats. Though these are long pieces, the ambience does vary considerably with the introduction of many different instruments, motifs, and electronic textures, among them guest piano by Harold Budd on "Under a Wing." At times this veers toward the best of new age electronic music. But for the most part it's dreamy, yet not laid-back or overly cheerful, music to fill huge empty spaces. Desert imagery is often used in reviews of the band, but at their most ominous, these pieces also evoke huge murky clouds. On the 19-minute closer "A Journey Through the Outer Reaches of Inner Space," it's evident that space allegories are also on their mind, though this track does represent Scenic at their most meandering.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
feat: Harold Budd