Usually I listen to music on bus-rides, but with fifteen songs spanning seventy-nine minutes, this is an album that was just meant to be played on a stereo at home. Everything about the album is leisurely, but not necessarily relaxing. Ronald Strojny’s voice mimics a Sabbath Bloody Sabbath-era Ozzy, with extra reverb and delay to make us feel out of our world. His guitar is slow and almost droning, simple riffs enhanced with phase-shifters, chorus and delay bring us into outer-space. The rhythm section rumbles from beyond the fabric of time, keeping the universe orderly. The astronaut may have returned, but our journey has just begun.

deepspacepilots

The sound throughout is ethereal, evenly paced albeit laced with starbursts and supernovas. I’m a man who likes albums with a lot of atmosphere, and The Point Of No Return delivers. We’re being taken to the center of the galaxy, and to the meaning of reality. The song that shares the somewhat-official title (the album is also known as Deepspacepilots, but it shares this title with some of their other releases) is a creepy earworm instilling a sense of loneliness. Loss Of Control’s bouncing arpeggio begets paranoia as angels sing hallelujah. The Epic Of …, although less than six minutes in length, takes the listener on an aural adventure. And the riff at the end of Time Marches On feels like something out of an Electric Wizard B-side.

Alas, the one blemish, a floating ruin of a starship amidst the planetary scenery, is What’s Up?. It’s certainly not a bad song. I believe it’s a poignant, meaningful piece. Otherwise the band wouldn’t have included it. But the “fight me” lyrics and blunt composition seem out of place in an album with nebulous instrumentals and galactic subject matters. The following and final song, Nothing, returns the album to form by invoking the cold drone of the void.

The Point Of No Return is a journey through time and space, but unlike other space rock bands with strange noises and distorted sense of science-fiction, there is a human element, a feeling of loss. As deep as space runs, so run this album’s emotion. There’s a choking undertone to the psychedelia. This is an album meant to be plugged into. So put it on surround sound, shut your eyes and melt into starlight.

4/5

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