Sunday, 17 October 2010

Spirits of the Dead - Spirits of the Dead

Spirits of the Dead are a massive nod to the past, incorporating elements of Pink Floyd, Uriah Heep, Black Sabbath and King Crimson to create something that sounds almost like a mellower Opeth. Opener ‘White Lady / Black Rave’ sees a strong 70s rock vibe come to the forefront, with light Hammond organs, bouncing guitar riffs and occasional synths evoking connotations of Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Spirits of the Dead are exceptionally meticulous about the music they deliver, clearly avoiding the risk of becoming another retro-rock tribute act. Whilst it’s clear where the band’s influences lay, it would be wholly wrong to call them derivative as their brand of mixed genre rock sounds welcomingly fresh throughout. The music is ethereal and restrained without being dull, with the drum-driven urgency of ‘The Waves Of Our Ocean’ only letting up when sliced through by a guitar solo with all the fuzz of a bear. The heavier moments are few and far between but are cleverly implemented, appearing most prominently on ‘Red’ where the staccato riffing breaks through the solemn clean guitars. Of particular note is the album’s title track, which smoothly switches from blistering distorted guitars to melancholy cleans, eventually culminating in a heavy metal funeral march by its end. The entire album is a delight to listen to as it is abundantly clear a lot of time has been invested in making these songs as bright and fulfilling as possible.

N.B. Completely irrelevant, but I absolutely love the cover art.

Spirits of the Dead is out now on Big Dipper Records

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