I always enjoy a good drone doom album. Huge riffs, slow tempo, psychedelic influences and trippy situations. Well, you can find all that within the latest Memnon Sa full-length, Citadel. This cosmic drone band, coming from beneath the colossus (according to their own page), is channeling in a fantastic manner the spirits of psychedelic music, drone, doom and kraut rock.
As soon as the disturbing beginning of the title track creeps in and the ethereal melodies take over, you are immediately transported to the astral domain of Memnon Sa. The trip continues, and becomes more adventurous as time passes, with “Megalith” and its big drums coming in to offer some more stability to the fluid performance of Memnon Sa. Of course the dreamy state that the band advocates so firmly is not their only trick. Soon enough heavier riffs come in and pummel down on your ears, but the music does not lose for a single second its majestic vibe.
From that point on, things can and will only get darker and more sinister. In “Black Goddess”, Memnon Sa will unleash the more opaque aspect of their sound. The dreamy soundscapes have given their places to towering melodies and immense riffs. On the other hand, the subtle drumming and the slow progression of the song make things even more uneasy, while from mid-point onwards, the band is trying to soothe you with some stunning melodies and a more minimalistic take on their music. And that is when the real deal comes in, “Heca Emem Ra”, one of the most intriguing moments of Citadel. Memnon Sa rely once more on their drones and forge a more obscure and mystical construct. Adding to that the ritualistic pace that the band is able to conjure, the track is a sheer display of sonic richness while the last two minutes of the track are really making an impact.
“Eshkigal”, with its nice background melodies over the, once again, towering soundscapes, and the eerie synths and great female vocals of “Titan’s Sleep” are helping you get out of the shock that “Black Goddess” and “Heca Emem Ra” just inflicted on you. But, Memnon Sa still have one last ace up their sleeve: the eleven minute long opus, “Kali Yuga”. In the closing track of the album, the band really makes an effort to exceed itself. The amazing two and a half minute long build up erupts into a ritualistic demolition of epic proportions as the heavy riffs and repetitive drumming destroy everything in their path. Finally the band decides to once again take a more minimalistic path, slowly deconstructing the song until there is nothing left.
Citadel is one of those albums you can simply lose yourself in. Memnon Sa can so easily manipulate all these different aspects of their sounds and come up with something that is so fluid and trippy, it is just insane. Definitely dig into this one if you want some quality drone.