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Matus : Más Allá Del Sol Poniente

Don Juan Matus' psychedelic music is a rewarding listening experience.

Don Juan Matus was a leader of a group of sorcerers who lived in the 20th century in Mexico. This group formed a spiritual circle which possessed esoteric knowledge of a very high level. Carlos Castaneda told about Juan Matus and his companions in his books that became worldwide bestsellers.

What does a Rock band get out of that background? Well, a treat as a matter of fact. Don Juan Matus is definitely my cup of tea; the Peruvian Rockers deliver an inspired feeling that hooks you right from the start. They keep their feet in the psychedelic Rock scene but avoid to get lost in the too cold experimentations of King Crimson, stay away from the bloated sophistications of Pink Floyd and won’t let the haunted psyche of Peter Hammill invade their own, more simple fantasy either.

Their sound is certainly less adventurous; however, it sounds fresh and free in the sense that the compositions don’t seem to have been thought over for days: the instrumentation is very organic and warm, while rather simple and classic (the band essentially resorts to guitar, bass and drums), it shows interesting turns and twists. Don Juan Matus show a great ease in their ability to build coherent pieces of music without ever letting guess any pre-established songwriting. It evolves fluently, multiplying varied enthralling melodic patterns: cascading soloing leaving room to an epic drums’ improvisation (a great 4.30 minute-long acid drumming on the loose), swaying bass sustaining fuzzy riffs and crooning, melancholic baritone vocals adding an extra dose of friendly humanity. They all make for a swinging while spiritual sonic meandering, like many of the finest psych-rock albums have done, from the '60s onward.

It’s a rewarding listening experience. Shifting from one eerie atmosphere to ominous tunes over mischievous twisted melodies, the album sounds very accessible and, while still keeping some complexity, avoids the trap of a dry, artificial jam-session. It’s warm music, cool, invigorating and intriguing, it develops a welcoming creativity that opts for an open approach of music; you’ll find yourself immediately comfortable with those guys. Check that band if you don’t know them yet... they will probably interest both doomsters that have a soft spot for Stoner and Trad as well as psyche-freaks.

Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Bajo la Sombra del Arbol de la Vida y la Muerte
2. Kadath / Más Allá del Sol Poniente
3. Ectoplasma
4. Mundo Alterno
5. Visiones Paganas
6. Summerland
7. Espejismos
8. Verde Nocturno / Las Horas Azules

Duration : Approx. 34 minutes

Visit the Matus bandpage.

Reviewed on 2011-03-17 by Bertrand Marchal
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