Codex Serafini are described on their Bandcamp bio as “a Saturnian Ritualistic band hailing from outer-space, currently passing through Earth and temporally residing in Sussex.” The first thing that springs to mind when reading this is, naturally, Sun Ra.
The band, who released their debut EP ‘Serpents of Enceladus’ in February 2020 as the world was turning to shit have, this month, released the follow up ‘Invisible Landscape’.
The psychedelic artwork does nothing to dampen the Sun Ra vibes.
Upon pressing play on this latest release, however, this is all but blown out of the window.
‘Organismic Thought’s heavy doomy riffing and drumming is guttural and sludgy at the beginning. It’s complemented by an incredibly atonal and almost alien vocal drone. This is short lived, giving way to cult like chanting and upbeat Krautrocky repetition. It’s deranged in a similar vein to the manic Cleckhudderfax. The song builds in intensity with plenty of sax skronk, increasingly frantic singing and heavy phaser effected guitars.
‘Crawling Space’ is a relatively more measured affair. The drums lock down a head nodding groove whilst also treating us to some phenomenal fills. It rises and falls along the same rhythm, with the sax allowed to wander. The one note tremolo guitars add a needly bite. Basically, it’s a 5 minute exercise in heavy, possibly Hawkwind inspired, psychedelia.
There are obvious Balkan influences in the choice of chords and scales used on the tripped out ‘Mendoza’s Memory’.
It’s perfect festival music. You can quite easily imagine stumbling, half cut, into a tend and becoming utterly transfixed by this. Its Acid Mothers Temple style space rock is euphoric, cerebral and mesmerising.
If this hasn’t melted your brain then perhaps ’Time, Change & Become’ will. The band embrace some utterly monstrous classic rock riffery. Like a doom metal inspired King Crimson. The nonsensical deranged singing we’ve been treated to throughout now clearly par for the course, this brings the madness to a close.
On ‘Invisible Landscape’ Codex Serafini have proven to be a melting pot of psychedelic rock, doom metal and space rock that will appeal to fans of Acid Mothers Temple, Boris, Cleckhuddersfax, Hawkwind, King Crimson, You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons.
Codex Serafini have three upcoming shows:
27th June, Aces & Eights, Tufnell Park, London https://dice.fm/partner/aces–eights-saloon-bar/event/gnlnp-codex-serafini-friends-27th-jun-aces-eights-saloon-bar-london-tickets
3rd July, The Hope & Ruin, Brighton. 2 shows, early 7pm, Late 9pm https://www.facebook.com/events/1199916453749135