Album Review: Anchor and Burden – Kosmonautic Pilgrimage

Impressionistic bloops and bleeps. Delightfully jarring stabs of percussion. Wild throbs of thunderous bass guitar. Otherworldly sonic textures courtesy of touch guitar. Those are merely some of the components of Kosmonautic Pilgrimage, the latest release from Anchor and Burden.

Sure, you might say upon hearing it, this music shares some characteristics with late-period King Crimson, most notably its double-trio era. And I’d agree. But this project isn’t really derivative of anything. It’s the creative product of a foursome that includes touch guitarist Markus Reuter. Two guitarists, a keyboardist and a percussionist work together to make knotty, super-heavy and wonderfully expressive/evocative music. The feel of the music is halfway between tightly composed and breezily improvised; the character of the music is in turns dreamlike and nightmarish. And that’s merely another way of saying that this instrumental music explores a wide array of emotional situations.

The song titles hint at the feel of the music: “Corridors of Silent Screams,” “Hissing Skin.” It’s not difficult to conjure visions of H.R. Giger artwork in one’s mind as these tracks unfold, as they worm their way into your cerebral cortex. The pieces tumble into one another, full of fury and dissonance. But like Giger’s grotesqueries, there’s beauty within as well.

Listen and discover. Listen and be beguiled. Listen and – no, really – enjoy.