New studio material from the long-running, but scarcely prolific, Japanese psychedelic band is rare enough at the best of times, but when it arrives hot on the heels of a string of live CD-ROM documents, fans could have been forgiven for assuming the band had abandoned the studio altogether. The Gate of a Heavenly Body not only disproves that misconception, it also reminds listeners just how vital Marble Sheep are. A solid Wall of Noise might place older neophytes in mind of some unholy collision between the Deviants (whose Mick Farren they backed on his own 2004 live album) and Loop; and fill younger ears with sundry other garage-based promises, but that is where easy comparisons end. Across eight tracks, Marble Sheep emit a fireball of frenzy that simply doesn't know when to stop -- in the very best sense of the words. Even when a song has obviously, incontrovertibly, ended -- it continues, meaning "Last Race" would have been more than content fading out after three-or-so minutes of verse/chorus/"boop boop" backings, but marches on regardless, through a dense blare of feedback and solos that only grows more invigorating as it continues. But even that pales alongside "Who Should Be Trusted," a ten-minute opus that shares its intro guitars with a distorted "Anarchy in the U.K." before stumbling upon a riff that would have done Paranoid-era Black Sabbath proud. Not an album for the faint-hearted, nor for those who like to nod along on their i-Pod, The Gate of a Heavenly Body is the album that your volume knob has been waiting for. Use it well.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2