ALBUM REVIEW: Sarattma – Escape Velocity


Escape Velocity (Nefarious Industries) is the debut album from Philidelphia, Pennsylvania-based instrumental duo Sarattma, and follows their debut Inner Spaces EP released in 2017. Featuring Mellowdeath and ex-Brian Jonestown Massacre drummer Sara Neidorf and Cleric guitarist Matt Hollenberg, their music is highly experimental with a distinct edge of tripped-out psychedelia, and is uniquely impressive!

The record opens with the spaced out, sci fi atmospherics of the title track before a cacophony of noise explodes into the fray with a crunching down-tuned riff and clattering drums. A completely improvised sounding guitar solo wails over the top of the grumbling rhythm section, combining to create something like Meshuggah-meets-Frank Zappa! The track continues to brain melt its way into a uniquely contrived darkness that is nothing quite like you’ll have ever heard before … This is deep, dark and heavy instrumental post-metal goodness!

Second track ‘Theraphosidae’ opens with a cheeky sounding mesh of soundscapes created by Hollenberg’s guitar which drops into a dark vibrating bass riff, with a guitar lead which sounds something like Steve Vai on mushrooms. Do not try and keep abreast of the time signatures here as it will tie your brain in knots … just enjoy!


The hypnotic tone continues on ‘Sublingual Excavation’ with a mellow off-beat meandering intro that gives birth to a cacophony of all out distorted weirdness … but in a good way! The tone on this record is sublime, with the bottom line sounding top notch … I definitely want to see them live! The track heads down a path of pure avant-garde experimentation and improvisation, with both the guitars and drums masterfully playing off one another.

‘To Touch The Dust’ provides a slightly more straightforward composition, which just about keeps on the straight and narrow with stripped back acoustics and mesmeric atmospherics, while ‘Socotra’ takes the fusion jazz vibe to another level, albeit with somewhat of a middle eastern flavour and a sub bass that your ears will find nothing, if not intoxicating.

‘Sciatic Haze’ opens sounding something like a demented version of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’, before the deep rumbling riff hits home, chugging its way across the percussion like a foreboding vision of impending doom. The LP rounds off with ‘Twilight Realm Of Imaginary Notes’, a calmer composition that acts somewhat like the preverbal post-coital cigarette, bringing you back down to Earth after one hell of a ride, and with Hollenberg once again showing a certain Vai-ism in his guitar playing.

Buy the album here:


9 / 10