When taking psychedelics, the set and setting usually matter if you want to maximize the experience. The same could be said of Geomancy, the long-gestating third album from Oakland psych-doom outfit Owl. Coming nine years after their last proper release, Geomancy is a full-on trip, bearing more similarities to Pink Floyd, King Crimson and even Thin Lizzy as it does Sleep.
Clocking in at over an hour total runtime, Geomancy sees the band really explore ideas, jamming on them for long periods without vocals and digging into psychedelia and stoner grooves with equal pleasure. The album ebbs and flows in its intensity, but builds to two massive compositions in its later half: “A King for Every Mountain” and “Shadow of Ehecatl.” The two 10-minute compositions, as well as the six-minute “Floating Island” sandwiched between, feel like the culmination of the album; they contain the heaviness of “Jupiterian Ocean” and the melodies of “Runes,” building into a spectacular prog-metal conclusion that quietly fades out as the outro track, “La Luz Compartida.”
To finish a metaphor from earlier: Geomancy is an album to sit with and absorb as a full piece, but the reward for doing so is worth it. Decibel is streaming the album in full today and it’s out officially via Lummox Records tomorrow, February 17.