REPTIEL – ‘Down Below World’

San Francisco-based band REPTIEL present a heady psych-rock expanse on new album Down Below World, representing the third album in a sci-fi/fantasy series that commenced in 2015 with Hobbitozz … A Land That Never Was. Listeners pick up on the journey of the protagonist Since and his trans-galactic guide, the Spirit Usher, as they encounter the inner-core of the planet Progkp.

“A Really Deep Groove (Aleph to Bet)” opens the album with scene-setting grandiosity. The lyrics reference a deep fall into the planet, “deep down dark below,” as excitable vocals meld alongside spacey synths and psychedelic guitars. The subsequent “It’s an Alternate World” affirms that new locale, remarking “it’s a different scene,” and referencing the cult status of Progkp’s deity, Thos. From bass-heavy sparseness to intricate guitar expanses, “It’s an Alternate World” is further exemplary of the act’s thematic consistency and dynamic tonal range.

Another standout, “Ja’roque” builds with climactic enticement into a theatrical title-referencing refrain. “You’ve brought us to the fore? Closer to planet’s core?” the frolicking vocals ask, immersing alongside reflective guitars. Later in the album, “Chamber of Reflections” compels in embracing a more familiar psych-rock energy, complete with hazy synths and gorgeous guitar swirls. Down Below World is a thematic and melodic success from REPTIEL.

We discovered this release via MusoSoup, as part of the artist’s promotional campaign.

Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine.

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