There’s a shrouded mystery at the core of Abronia’s newest offering. The album, formed and forged in the smoke-laced Portland summers, embraces the looming dread that lies on the horizon, letting it infect the heart. Psychedelic, but that doesn’t quite scratch it. The band bites down on rhythm, swaying the pulse-beaten pounce between sweat-soaked and sanguine with a deft hand. Guitars on Map of Dawn snake and sear — threading between the Eastern intrigue of Sir Richard Bishop and the howl of Major Stars. The middle ground they find is harrowing — blown full of county blues, a crumbling cosmos, and curls of discordant jazz.
The camps come to a head on centerpiece “Wave of the Hand,” a piece that accomplishes more in five minutes that a lot of bands do in a side-long simmer. That’s not to say that with more space they can’t slide out even further into the burnt-ombre cosmic crust. The album closer stretches out over 8 minutes to lay into full Western psychedelic scrape. The band’s been building their momentum over the past couple of releases, but it all comes to a disorienting head on Map of Dawn, their most realized album yet.
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