Spectral Voice "Eroded Corridors of Unbeing"
The thing I like about Death Metal is that it is not something that (to my ears at least) always needs to be evolved/done differently/combined with the chants of Goatherders. Don't get me wrong I like - what my old English teacher in High School would call - "a plethora" of DM styles/genres/sub genres/other neat pigeonholes and nicely labelled boxes, but motherfuckers a lot of the time I just want my DM rammed straight down my fucking throat by a large boot.
In this instance I am talking Death-Doom. That oppressive blend of two of metal's most imposing genres, brought together in a cavernous and atmospheric mixture so that bands like Spectral Voice can wash their Black Sabbath tees with their Incantation hoodies and not give two fucks if the colours run. Now the internet (or more specifically my fellow MOD and font of metal knowledge, BAN) informs me that Spectral Voice are basically Blood Incantation under a different name. I have never heard Blood Incantation so that kills this line of journalistic relevance in terms of comparing outputs, but based on Spectral Voice I am sure Blood Incantation are fucking good.
The "erosion" on this album has been undertaken by some of the thickest, most cavernous riffs you will ever have the pleasure of hearing this side of dISEMBOWELMENT. But the clever bit is that never once does that just become the sole deed of the record. Ebbing and flowing with these riffs are dank layers of creepy and harrowing melodies that are arranged alongside slow picked strings and some bowel scraping, guttural vocals that strip plaster and stone from these heavily punished walls. What Spectral Voice manage to achieve out of all these parts is an actual obvious structure, deftly built into some looming monolith within which exists a fathomless spiral into endless darkness. Opening track "Thresholds Beyond" begins with a slow picked build and continues to use those strings to weave an atmospheric tapestry of hellish proportions to wrap the listener in.
The melodic seepage that opens "Visions of Psychic Dismemberment" soon gives way to a rumbling chug yet maintains an almost arrogant poise throughout its near fourteen minute delivery as the band brilliantly pace and measure the track to hold the interest for the whole track for the listener. Beneath the cavernous riffs and intense doom atmospherics of instrumental piece "Lurking Gloom" there's an undulating flow of near insipid melody whilst at times the same track almost possesses a punk invoking sense of rhythm.
It takes multiple listens to even start to unpick everything that is going on along each and everyone of the "corridors" travelled here. Given the time the detailed textures of "Terminal Exhalation" and the sharp yet infectious needle picks of "Dissolution" all start to form an other-worldly core within the music itself that seems to take on form and life from these very dark and at times smothering nuances that you pick up on with repeated listens. As 2017 draws to a close - and as with most preceding years - the list of great releases just continues to grow right up to the very death of the year itself. "Eroded Corridors of Unbeing" is a neat discovery so late in the year (even though I am over a month behind with it) and goes to show the art of just sticking with a blueprint and building from there can still reap real rewards.
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