Queen Elephantine is a band from Providence, RI (USA), founded in 2006 in Hong Kong. The band claims to be 'fluid in line-up', something that remembers me of the term 'loose-knit collective', which is used to describe Master Musicians Of Bukkake. And indeed, the list of band members is pretty huge, which in its turn can explain why this album sounds so strange and widely varied as it does. Although the focus here is on heavy psychedelics, there's all kind of stuff going on.
The band opens with 'Omen', a song that can best be described as a doom rock track, a pretty good one too if you ask me. Follower 'The Sea Goat' then suddenly reminds me of the lovechild of Primus and The Melvins. It's not pretty and it makes a lot of noise but you can definitely bang your head to it. Other bands that come to mind are Einsturzende Neubauten, Godflesh, Sonic Youth, Earth, Swans, Nadja and even Pink Floyd. Yes, this is an immensely varied album, a heavy and psychedelic one too.
'Gamma' then turns into something quite different, namely experimental drone ambient, once again reminding me of Master Musicians Of Bukkake. This trance-inducing piece drives mainly on repetitive and improvised use of instruments, which works pretty damn well here. 'Morning Tree' adds a meditative aspect to the music and in that aspect quickly becomes one of my favorites on this interesting album. In fact, unsurprisingly, this is a collection of track recorded in the past eight years so there's bound to be some difference between them.
So yes, this is sound as ritual, often heavy (as in the doom loaded 'Search for the Deathless State'), sometimes soothing and calm (as in 'Shamanic Procession') and sometimes blues-like ('Horseman') but always with a firm focus on an organic and natural flow. After a few listens I have to admit that I underestimated this piece of work at first but now I can definitely see the beautiful strangeness that Queen Elephantine really is. Recommended stuff for experimental weirdos...