Blood And Ashes – Outerspace

Label: Babygrande

If you’ve been following this ball game since the whole Army of The Pharoahs thing got kick started with the Psycho-Social album in ’99 then you might really have seen the best of what these boys have to offer, but with guest appearances from undeground hip-hop luminaries Vinnie Paz, Sadat X, 7L, Esoteric, Immortal Technique, Celph Titled, Beyonder and King Syze this first full length offering from Jedi Mind Tricks protégés Planetary and Crypt the Warchild is as solid a record as you’re going to get. The frisky symphonic elegance may be a little bit overcooked, but on tracks like ‘Top Shelf Cats’ featuring Sedat X it interacts seamlessly with the flow of the raps and on occasions seems entirely plausible, and even if the ‘War Of The Worlds’ voiceover intro has the subtlety and the class of a turd in a food blender, ‘Brute Force’s rocksteady beats and bristling key sequences captures the dusty, gritty streets of a warp-speed ‘hood.

Fans of the boys may regret the absence of Jedi Mind Tricks producer Stoupe, but Stoupe appears to be working his wily magic over the next Mind Tricks release. In any case, the chirping mexicana of tracks like ‘Cuthroats’ and the kooky, retro Hammonds of ‘Gods and Generals’ help define an album that is certainly not short of imagination. And if nothing else, it’s consistent – the dark, sacred hue of the cover matched squarely with its ominous and brutal sound design.

Having toured extensively nationally with Jedi Mind Tricks throughout their fall 2003 Visions of Gandhi tour, the release of Blood & Ashes marks the culmination of years of activity in the underground hip-hop circuit, and serves as a satisfying, if eerie debut.

Release: Outerspace - Blood And Ashes
Review by:
Released: 20 September 2004