White Manna returns to prove just how deep their thrust is. Dune Worship, the Arcata, California, group’s sophomore album, follows in the vein of last year’s self-titled debut, mining another batch of primal, outward-bound jams that reek of eternity.
“Transformation” channels prime-time Hawkwind, evoking that sense of zooming headlong in endless flight with every atom buzzing. Like the best space-rock songs, it intensifies and ascends ever higher as it goes. The staunch, towering riffs of “X Ray” are as foreboding as the next report from the EPA. This is White Manna’s idea of a power ballad… until it accelerates in the last minute and leaves the listener blissfully charred.
The speedy yet smooth “I’m Comin Home” could be the recurring theme for that impossible sequel to Easy Rider, while the ten-minute “Illusion of Illusion” simmers with astral, meditative menace—a massive, billowing specimen of rock that glows like the earth’s inner core. The epic finale, “Solar Returns,” is as majestic and momentous a climax as one would expect from these profound pros, whose singleness of purpose remains irrepressible and righteous.