CD Review: Monster Magnet – Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)

CD Review: Monster Magnet – Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux)
Napalm Records
All Access Rating: A-

Monster Magnet - Cobras And Fire
(The Mastermind Redux) 2015
After tinkering with 2013's Last Patrol a year ago and slapping a fresh coat of psychedelic aural paint on what was already a mind-blowing record, Dave Wyndorf and Monster Magnet figured why not have another go at 2010's The Mastermind. 

In need of rehabilitation, The Mastermind was a rather uneventful walk in the park compared to more adventurous sonic journeys taken over the years by these stoner-metal visionaries. Given a second chance, they hold nothing back on Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux), sending it screaming through space in a vehicle fueled by powerful drugs.

While slow-burning versions of "Hallucination Bomb" and "Time Machine' crawl across an expansive, alien soundscapes like lost scorpions and celestial voyages "Gods and Punks" and "The Titan" – a hypnotic instrumental – all float on, the apocalyptic firestorm "When The Planes Fall From The Sky" and blinding supernova "Ball of Confusion" engage in all-out attacks on the senses, pushing forward with more urgency as these massive doses of heavy psychedelia bring on terrifying lysergic trips. Even more unsettling, as an undercurrent of menace drifts beneath solar-powered guitar effects in the title track, Wyndorf advises, "You gotta trust your mastermind," and he does it so seductively you begin to wonder if you've been tricked into unknowingly clucking like a chicken for the last hour under his orders.

Taking liberties with The Mastermind, Monster Magnet heightens the drama of "Watch Me Fade" with swirling organ, making like The Doors meets Screaming Jay Hawkins. However, the most explosive choruses are triggered in "She Digs That Hole," as the pent-up, throbbing tension of its verses is finally freed. Doomsday drums, lonely piano and grumbling bass lines are found throughout Cobras And Fire (The Mastermind Redux), as freakish, howling storms of guitars and keyboards become spectacularly colorful backdrops for Wyndorf's lurid, space-rock tales of vengeance, lust and armageddon – gripping stuff from a master storyteller. Trust in Monster Magnet. They almost never let you down.
– Peter Lindblad

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