There are many reasons to listen to “Lords of Galaxia,” the new album by Italian stoner-rock trio, Elepharmers. First of all, the album is based on the writings of Isaac Asimov, prolific science fiction author of The Foundation series, and Zechariah Sitchin, a writer who promoted an alternative alien history in The 12th Planet. The result is an album about of ancient alien gods, megalithic structures, catastrophes on a biblical scale, and intergalactic space travel. Second of all, the album is HEAVY, with huge riffs, crashing cymbals, spacey sound effects, and interplanetary lyrics. It was released on February 28th and is a polished and consistent follow-up to 2016’s Erebus. It features trippy artwork by INKline, portraying an alien-like god as well as ancient UFOs. You can buy the digital album or vinyl on Bandcamp.
“melodic and mysterious”
Ancient Astronauts opens with synths that sound like a revolving UFO with engines engaged, setting the stage not only for the song, but the entire album. The song also introduces the Scribe who, with many spoken-word parts throughout the album, explains how he was chosen to document the words of a dark god upon tablets, a hint towards Sitchin’s alternative history. Heavy riffs immediately kick in and lyrics all about fiery chariots and space travel commence. The vocals are melodic and mysterious, with a unique, echoing sound, fitting of an Ancient Sumerian scribe giving voice to alien gods.
The sounds of the synth UFO again open the next track, and the band explores some tight transitions and subtle spacey textures on Ziqqurat. This track features a slower groove, highlighting some of the softer sides of the band, with a whining guitar solo and more words from the Scribe, speaking of how the land is smitten and godless, setting things up nicely for the serious cleansing in the next song. The track finishes strong with some tasty double guitars, harmonizing in stereo.
“huge sounding drums”
With a softer approach, the Flood comes in with clean, heavily delayed guitars that have a watery effect. The lyrics speak of the Garden of Eden and destruction of giants. Middle-Eastern sounding leads carry the song into its heaviest part. Notable lyrics towards the end begin a haunting appeal to “save us from the water.” The heavy cymbals begin to sound like flood waters crashing down, and the song ends with a subtle acoustic guitar, amidst the sound of a Black Sabbath-esque thunderstorm.
Foundation opens with a fast paced beat and some tasty delay effects on the guitars, and then immediately kicks in to a heavy riff. The lyrics speak of civilization starting anew. Later in the song, the band changes things up with a heavy breakdown, accompanied by some spacey sound effects, before cutting the song off at the 5:38 mark, making it the shortest on the album. Fans of Spaceslug will appreciate the grungy, spacey vibe.
The second shortest song at just over six minutes, The Mule (a reference to one of Asimov’s characters) opens once again with the Scribe before launching into a heavy driving riff. The highlight of the song is at the halfway point, when the band introduces a cool transition, exploring a 7/4 time riff that alternates with the original 4/4 meter, giving the track a tight, progressive feel.
“monolithically heavy doom riffs”
The final track is Stars Like Dust, the longest, clocking in at 10:19. It begins with arpeggiated guitars that come to us like a signal from deep space. Possibly the heaviest track on the album, it also features some of the most creative drumming on the album.
Fans of Sleep will appreciate the monolithically heavy doom riffs at the 3:00 mark.
Lords of Galaxia highlights the band’s bands consistency, maturity, and ability to create riffs and music as massive and elephantine as their subject matter. Aliens, gods, and sci-fi terror makes for some dark subject matter, but the band approaches it in a fun, almost tongue-in-cheek way that makes it sound approachable and seriously awesome. Do the bidding of the ancient gods and check out their new album today.