ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE & THE COSMIC INFERNO, "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath"

There's only one band who can riff off the first Black Sabbath album cover and not look like complete tools, and that's Japan's Acid Mothers Temple, who do so amazingly on their killer new LP.

There's only one band who can riff off the first Black Sabbath album cover and not look like complete tools, and that's Japan's Acid Mothers Temple, who do so amazingly on their killer new LP. In the tradition of their last two releases for Canada's Alien8 label, which emulated famous the famous album jackets of King Crimson and Steeleye Span, the Mothers deliver "Starless and Bible Black Sabbath" with supporting act The Cosmic Inferno.

The title is so cool I don't know how nobody had thought of it earlier, but it's also as far as this mash-up goes. Consisting of two tracks, one clocking in at about 34 minutes and the other at six and change, the Mothers deliver some of the most righteous rock of their careers here. The half-hour plus title cut is a monster. It takes its time to creep up on you and then proceeds to maul you with a drum attack that comes off like an army marching through your room while guitars and spacey synths swirl above them like psychedelic bats.

The second track, "Woman from a Hell," definitely won't be heard at any weddings. But if you ever wanted to hear the concept of prog metal done right (sorry Dream Theater fans), you will give this song a good listen. The packaging itself is worth the bucks, but luckily those true believers of the Acid Mothers Temple will most certainly enjoy the tunes as well. -- Ron Hart