Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives

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Through the Dusty Paths of Our Lives Review

by Eduardo Rivadavia

As album titles go, Through the Dusty Years of Our Lives seems a little inadequate for the debut of Paris, France's Abrahma. After all, based on its contents, one can't help but wonder why it wasn't named Through the Dusty Depths of the Universe or something equally descriptive of its fully baked (no pun intended) space rock aesthetic, both musical and lyrical (or maybe even Stooooners innnn Spaaaaaaace!). In any case, the title does sot of address its makers' long and winding trajectory up to this point, which involved a five-year slog through European clubs, a single LP released under former moniker Alcohsonic, a break-up, and then subsequent reawakening as seen here. And what a reawakening it is, too, via a forceful blend of psychedelic heavy metal and alternative rock influences jammed through the aforementioned hyperspace kaleidoscope to produce a hefty 70 minutes and 15 songs that often blend into one another with virtually no interruption. Superficially, this tactic recalls Captain Beyond's legendary debut, but that's really about as close as Abrahma get to the '70s; all else here smacks of the future, or at least the unfulfilled future envisioned by post-‘90s stoner rock space cadets led by Monster Magnet, whose former guitar wiz Ed Mundell delivers a scorching solo on "Big Black Cloud" (trivia: noted stoner/space metal illustrator Alexander Von Wieding also designed this cover art). Other space metal endeavors here include "Neptune of Sorrow" "Headless Horse," and the hypnotically lysergic "The Maze," and after highlighting those aforementioned modern rock elements on "Tears of the Sun" and "Dandelion Dust," Abrahma proceed to orbit around several additional celestial musical bodies as they zig-zag through the cosmos. There are multiple brushes past UFOmammut's sludge metal planet (see the seismic riffs sprinkled throughout), the odd, bluesy shuffle complete with slide guitars ("Honkin' Water Roof," "Oceans of Sand"), and, just when you think you've got them pegged, "Vodun, Pt. 1: Samedi's Awakening" whips up an ‘80s funk-metal groove, Pt. 2 ("I, Zombie") an echoing garage rock vibe, and Pt. 3 ("Final Asagwe"), a warped arena rock mutation. In sum, while all of the above is somehow sheltered within the confines of Abrahma's protective space suit, there's clearly quite a bit more (perhaps a little too much, actually) to Through the Dusty Years of Our Lives than initially meets the eye. Which would explain that album title of course…

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