Taraban – How the East Was Lost (Reissue, Interstellar Smoke Records, 2022)

You will have noticed that January 2022 has already started with some incredible albums, many of which are finding their way on this month’s Doom Charts. Among these, Interstellar Smoke Records started the year with a blast! The vinyl reissue of Taraban’s 2019 masterpiece “How the East Was Lost” was released on the 16th of January 2022. Those who know what this means have already secured a copy of the limited edition wax. The rest of us will have only recently discovered the band and we have some serious catching up to do!

The album kicks off with the “Last Laugh”, a song whose first half mixes prog rock psychedelia with some serious early Soundgarden and Mother Love Bones qualities. Midway, an amazing acoustic guitar takes over, transforming it into a beautiful progressive rock song that climaxes with anthem-like vocals and closes with a tasty twang in the end. “Backseat Driver” drags the blues rock of All Them Witches through the Graveyard mud and spits it out as a uniquely sounding tune, with some of the most sensational vocals, sinister riffs and hard-pounding drums I ‘ve heard in quite some time.

Next comes “The Plague”, drenched in an intelligent blend of fuzz rock and Opeth-like melancholy. The song feeds perfectly into “21st Century Deluge in C# Major”, a music theme with an etherial melody that literally carries to your ears the sound of winter. “White Lies” picks the album up and takes it to a magic Zeppelinesque dimension of heavy psych blues with a dexterous sonwriting that very few bands ever achieve.

Unrelentless, “Wizard’s Hand” pulls the album back to its Graveyard roots, with one of the best vocal performances in the album, reminiscent at times of the titan that was Chris Cornell. The album closes with “Liberty Fraternity Eternity”, a brilliant heavy psych blues tune that further broadens Taraban’s sound palette with a haunting baritone saxophone.

In all, “How the East Was Lost” is the best album that you have yet to listen. There is no doubt that this much needed reissue will bring the band to a new audience, and that the sweet sound of the wax will take the listening experience several levels up. Brilliant album!

Words by Ioannis Valiakos

Link to Preorder (Big Cartel): https://interstellarsmokerecords.bigcartel.com/product/taraban-how-the-east-was-lost-isr-vinyl-limited-edition

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