They Watch Us From The Moon – Cosmic Chronicles Act 1: The Ascension

They Watch Us From The Moon – Cosmic Chronicles Act 1: The Ascension
New Heavy Sounds
Release Date: 12/05/23
Running Time: 42:25
Review by Dark Juan

I bid you good day, my dear friends and fiends. I am Dark Juan and I am seated in Crow Cottage preparing myself for a weekend of what should have been Eurovision-based debauchery, but is instead a weekend of wrangling teenagers and tweens with a bit of Eurovision in between. This is a bit of a disappointing development. because I normally amusingly review every Eurovision entry in the final. This is a self-imposed duty that normally leads to friction in the home of Dark Juan, because if I get a Facebook ban, Mrs Dark Juan also gets to enjoy one too through no fault of her own and neither God nor Facebook knows why this happens. So, this year, I am not permitted to say that the German entry sounds like he has been shot and that Dark Juan needs to finish the job. Apparently, that’s hate speech, yet with two clicks on a… ahem… “specialist” private group on Facebook I can access some next level real-life gore. Apparently Suckerberg thinks that it is fine for people to watch unfortunate Eastern people getting pulped under falling concrete or bounced off the front of forty-four tonnes of fast-moving steel and being reduced to their component parts in a welter of claret and screaming, yet it is wrong for Dark Juan to suggest that the German Eurovision entry would benefit from a bit of frontier surgery. Baffling. 

Dark Juan is of the opinion that consensual sex is not pornography. Violence is, and Dark Juan also believes that violence should be policed more effectively online. That and the far-right Nazi and white-supremacist fucknuggets. However, there is a record spinning upon the decidedly anti-Nazi Platter of Splatter ™ that you really should be told about as it has utterly fucked up my shortlist so far for my Top Ten records of the year…

I might have just come across (fnarr fnarr!) a new favourite band in Kansas, USA-based They Watch Us From The Moon. Dark Juan has just fallen hopelessly in love with this US-based, utterly GROOVY Psychedelic Doom band, who play what they themselves describe as “Sci-Fi Space Opera” (Dark Juan is all over space opera like a cheap suit – see Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan Saga and you’ll see why) and they are heavier than dropping your lead-clad sister down an event horizon with the entire female Soviet weightlifting team from 1980 to be crushed into Neutronium and spat back out as ultra-dense dark matter.

If you like long drawn-out jams, cowering before the almighty power of the riff, and a bit of abject silliness, then does Dark Juan have a treat for you – They Watch Us From The Moon has EVERYTHING that Dark Juan loves about music. There’s theatricality, power, high concept, an obvious sense of humour, heaviness and silly names. There’s theremin solos on ‘Creeper AD’ overlaying some absolutely fucking knicker-dropping Hammond organ work, there’s riffs so colossal they have created a rift in spacetime and caused the Warp to spill through, only being held back by the majestic power of TWUFTM’s music and there’s one more thing that really makes them stand apart from a lot of Doom bands.

Two fucking angelic sounding female singers. 

Dark Juan cannot describe how fucking awesome Doom Metal sounds when there are ladies fronting it. The clean, soaring vocal harmonies of Luna Nemesis and Nova 1001001 take TWUFTM’s music and lift it from earth-bound yet superb to absolutely fucking stratospheric, and tied in with the deep, pit-dwelling male vocals on ‘Return To Earth’ they offer an enticing, siren-like attraction that drags the listener in and charms him (yes, it’s me. Yes, I am weak. Shoot me. Just don’t say you are going to on Facebook unless you are filming it) so effectively that he is forced to sit, weak and breathless as their utterly siren-like, seductive singing washes over him in a cleansing, heartbreaking wave. 

Even away from the utterly captivating vocals, the Dark Juan Sex Wee Flood Protection System has been completely overwhelmed from the opening hit of ‘On The Fields Of The Moon’, with Synthwave keyboards underlaying some absolutely fuzzbastardtastic guitar work and ranging information from what sounds like the White Sands missile range in America, before Luna and Nova reduce Dark Juan to a quivering, drooling mess with their voices in literally four shuddering, orgasmic seconds. Their vocal work is just beautiful – as they sing “Ah, ah, ah, shoot while you can!”, the harmonies cleave straight through Dark Juan’s twisted sewer of a brain and hammer straight into his pleasure centres and light them up like the emergency consoles at Chernobyl just before it got a little bit warm. That’s it, I am lost to them. Utterly gone. However, if you can discount the utterly teenage infatuation that Dark Juan is currently undergoing (Rory Bentley of Team Ever-Metal is now afraid of this review and what it might say. In his words, “I have to proof-read this shit and I can’t afford a therapist!”) then you will wish to know that if you are a fan of the likes of Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Lucifer and Sergeant Thunderhoof, then it is my duty to report that you will find much to enjoy here.

The Dark Juan Sex Wee Flood Prevention System ™ is totally overwhelmed. (Oh for fuck sake!- Rory) There is an ecological catastrophe happening in the Calder Valley right now. Sowerby Bridge, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Eastwood, Cragg Vale, Todmorden and Luddendenfoot are all awash. Every pair of trousers Dark Juan owns are utterly ruined. There is no hope. Mrs Dark Juan has left and gone to her mother’s house. She has taken Hodgson Biological-Warfare with her. The rest of West Yorkshire is taking refugees in and yet the sex wee levels still rise, threatening the lower lying areas of Bradford and Leeds. Some might say it would be good to wipe out Bradford and rebuild it, though, so every cloud (or sex wee flood) has a silver lining. As long as the 1-In-12 and other clubs I like there survive.

‘Space Angel’ is a behemoth of grooviness about a space angel, dontcha know, and it is a pantheon, built  in testament to everything that is fucking wonderful about Psychedelic Doom Metal – bluesy, emotive guitar solos, thicker than pitch arrangements, heavily-fuzzed, chonky riffs and slow, leaden grooves that are inexorably grinding their way through a blasted, desert landscape, and a fuck ton of layering and complexity on the guitars building steadily to a resounding and brain-mashing climax from General Shane Thirteen and R. Benjamin Black on the guitars. R. Benjamin Black… do I detect a little bit of Asimov worship there, like R. Daneel Olivaw or R. Giskard Reventlov, perhaps?

Latest single ‘MOAB’ (‘Mother Of All Bastards’ and sadly not ‘Massive Ordnance Air Blast’ in a paean to the effectiveness of the GBU-34/B air-dropped explosive) adds a Gothic element to the whole Doomy shebang with layered, ethereal vocals (very reminiscent of the utterly glorious and gorgeous Lacuna Coil frontwoman Cristina Scabbia’s work) warping and wafting above the obsidian black heart of the song, the absolute sable, catclysmic majesty of the riffs towering over everything. ‘Creeper AD’ is just ten sheer minutes of orgasmic, Psychedelic joy, of which the first several minutes are just pure, Doomy gloom and heaviness, with no vocal and a wholehearted surrender to the power of Heavy Metal guitar. Wailing solos overlay each other and interplay over a slow march tempo for four glorious minutes before the girls come and sprinkle their love potion fairy dust all over it again and Dark Juan disappears instantly back into his fantasy world, which I will not share with you for fear of traumatising Rory. (Too late- Rory) Or the rest of you for that matter. It’s not the one that is blood-soaked and has a bewildering array of power tools and bladed weapons, this time.

Even the production and mix on this album has caused the rampant “enthusiasm” of Dark Juan to increase yet further to the possible detriment of Rotherham, Huddersfield and Sheffield as the sex wee floods continue to increase, for it is a masterclass in how to produce a Doom Metal record. The mix is thicker than a classroom full of teenage Dark Juan clones dreaming about Luna 1001001 and Luna Nemesis instead of working yet still retains clarity and power and the drums (normally sounding like the results of taking a cheap drum kit to a fish market and whacking it with different kinds of seafood) are sonorous and rich and slice effortlessly through the sludginess. The bass destabilises the foundations of buildings with ease, yet this is also kept under admirable control in the mix and doesn’t overwhelm the guitar work. The solos are engineered fucking PERFECTLY and sit exactly in the right place of the sound to be at the forefront of your attention, but not to drown anything else out.

I have to stop writing now. My priapism is hurting and I need to relieve it. I only put that there because Rory has been terrified about my mentioning my penis throughout this review. Still, at least he has not had to remove Dark Juan threatening a bit of good old-fashioned necrophilia with Soviet shitbag Vladimir Putin’s long dead mother this time.

The Patented Dark Juan Blood Splat Rating System is just as rabid as its creator right now and has fallen hopelessly in love with the voices of Luna and Nova. In a desperate effort to drag itself back to reality, as opposed to teenage fantasies, it has calculated and awarded a score to They Watch Us From The Moon. That score is infinity/10 because “Cosmic Chronicles Act 1: The Ascension” is one of the most perfect things Dark Juan has ever heard, and that’s not just because of the girls. The whole fucking record is face-mashingly good. Dark Juan will happily lose limbs for this band.

01. On The Fields Of The Moon 
02. Space Angel
03. MOAB (Mother Of All Bastards)
04. Creeper AD
05. Return To Earth

Zakkatron – Bass
Adryon Prahktaur – Drums
R. Benjamin Black – Lead Guitar, vocals
The General Shane Thirteen – Guitar, vocals
Luna Nemesis – Vocals
Nova 1001001 – Vocals


Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Dark Juan and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.