If the Myrrors were around in the late 60s, there’s a good chance their music would have been used in Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider. Arena Negra finds the Arizona duo playing sprawling psychedelic jams befitting of a band from the desert.
Opening track, “Arena Negra” is a slow-burning jam that begins with an indiscernible vocals that sounds somewhere between a Gregorian and a Native American chant. Meanwhile slow, steady bass and psychedelic guitars flourishes build until the vocals disappear and the real jam begins. For nearly five minutes guitar, bass, drum, and flutes drone on hypnotically. Its no stretch of the imagination to see zombie-like commune members fruitlessly planting seeds in dried out soil to this track.
Similarly, it is no feat to imagine a bad Mardi Gras acid trip being soundtracked by the album’s 20 minute closing track, “The Forward Path.” Beginning with a dissonant drone of strings that sounds like the summer hum of cicadas, “The Forward Path” ebbs and flows between a wall-of-sound and quieter moments. The track contains perhaps the most traditional vocals on the album but they make up such a small segment of the 20 minute journey that by the end its hard to remember they even happened like an episode during an acid trip.
Really, the entirety of Arena Negra is like one long acid trip. Despite being over 40 minutes of music, the album blends together with its constant drone and undefined structure. It makes you wonder why the band even bothered breaking it into tracks. Although the album has the ability to make your head spin, something tells me that’s what the Myrrors wanted and in that case, mission accomplished. But for those susceptible to migraines or vertigo, this might not be your cup of tea.