Golden Dawn Arkestra
Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time (11A Records)
Reviewed by Rick Weaver, Fri., Sept. 20, 2019
While Austin's costumed collective fails to reach the gentle valleys of homegrown psych legacies the Golden Dawn or the exponential heights of astro visionary Sun Ra (1914-93), they once again successfully merge Afrobeat and Eurodisco. More social than hermetic, Darkness Falls on the Edge of Time relays and delays spare doomsday lyrics laced with digestible esoterica, while balanced grooves pulse celluloid polish á la Boney M. and Dschinghis Khan. The vocals on "Darkness Falls" sway with Les Baxter's sacred idols, and "Vetiver" polkas onward slow and low with spaghetti Western bravado. The brevity of the seven-song cycle, padded by intro and outro passing, prevents the listener from getting completely lost in the cosmos, but two songs deliver transcendental escape. During "Blood of Royalty," percussion bumps against a flawless bass line, elegant sax, and guitar solos that faultline, rhythmic terrain of honey-peppered sentiment. "Hamza" follows with true drift, and all the ingredients and incantations previously invoked by the band pop out of the oven blissful and baked.