[Review] The Universe By Ear – III

The Universe By Ear is a trio from Switzerland offering Progressive Rock sounds with a mixture of Psychedelia and Space Rock elements. The third album simply titled “III” was released on October 28, 2022 and contains five tracks. The opener “Sail Around The Sun” is the longest in duration, characterised by distorted guitar riffs and a granitic rhythm section. The drumming is solid and elaborate, the bass lines give body to the song and intertwine with the guitar distortions that offer well-constructed riffs and inserts with arpeggios. The vocals are melodic and choral in character, counterbalancing the heavier sounds of the melodies. In the long instrumental sections, the Heavy Psych imprinting is combined with Prog tempo changes and a touch of Space Rock, enveloping the listener and guiding him on the journey the band offers, exploring these sounds with a modern and personal touch. Massive guitar riffs and an elaborate rhythm section mark the following track “Something In The Water” with a more Prog imprint. Enriched by continuous tempo changes and an ever-changing structure, it enhances the band’s compositional and performance technique. The guitar takes centre stage, supported by a killer bassline and intricate drumming. After an instrumental first part, a choral vocal gives a melodic touch to the sound, where all cues always keep the intensity very high, enveloping the listener. In the middle part, they develop an instrumental section with Experimental traits, and then give life to dark atmospheres of a Psychedelic matrix that accompany us to the finale. “Two Hour Drive” opens with guitar work and a more rock structure over which a very engaging vocal stands out. The sounds are solid and show a more meditative side of the band, with the intensity increasing as the song develops. The intensity increases as the song goes on, and the band offers an interesting instrumental section where they return to the more Heavy sounds that characterise them with an Acid touch. A prolonged interweaving of guitar work accompanies us to the atmospheric finale. Atmospheric sounds that also open the following “Lie Alone,” and then with a change unleash all the nenrgy of the band. A deep, load-bearing bass line and Space Rock-style drumming characterise the rhythm section, over which a dynamic, expressive vocal and scratchy guitar inserts are inserted. Engaging and elaborate, the middle section offers an instrumental section full of quality ideas, both in the solo parts and in the structure full of tempo changes and elaborate, technical passages. In the finale, the vocal returns for the last verses and the song closes pleasantly, concluding this beautiful journey of over 7 minutes. the album ends with the first single from the album “Salty River (Incl. Monoliths)” featuring an introductory vocal part. Guitar arpeggios are added to the choral singing, and then develop into a fine track that incorporates all the band’s characteristic elements. Constantly evolving drumming, the bass that penetrates and makes the body vibrate, well-constructed guitar riffs and a dynamic, engaging vocal make the track a perfect summation of the band’s stylistic signature. A good album, which confirms how the band has quality ideas and a personal style, mixing different genres and bringing them into a fresh and modern context. The point of union between heavy Psych, prog and Space Rock is precisely the originality of the trio, who use the long duration of the tracks to develop their ideas with technique. A recommended listen for all lovers of Psychedelic sounds that also incorporate and explore other genres and styles, offering an intense tracklist from start to finish. A beautiful journey within the band’s sound, full of facets and enveloping passages that alternate between Rock and more Prog parts.


01. Sail Around The Sun (11:55)
02. Something In The Water (09:33)
03. Two Hour Drive (06:37)
04. Lie Alone (07:06)
05. Salty River (Incl. Monoliths) (07:05)


Beni Bürgin / Drums
Pascal Grünenfelder / Bass, Vocals
Stef Strittmatter / Guitar, Vocals

The Universe By Ear |Official Website|Bandcamp|Facebook Page|Instagram|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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