Saturday, December 19, 2015
Spectral Wound : " Terra Nullius"
It's clear from the onset what I'm signing up for as this band from Quebec comes out of the frosted gates with a blasting snarl that is paying homage to the second wave of black metal from the 90s. They shift into a more Watain like stomp, but some how manage to avoid all Dissection influence, which must be a love for punk. This over 180 bpm nastiness has a certain honest quality that makes this work more than if they were trying to be Deathspell Omega one minute and then messed up their groove by going into something like this which is what I have run into in this afternoon's last ditch attempt to make sure I have all my upside down crosses crossed before I start on my best of black metal list for the year. They bring the buzz of tremolo picking to a boil as the drums slow on "A Nobler Rot" then stir it up again against the squeal of feedback that sounds like it could have been recorded at their practice space if not for the big guitar sound they lock into on the accents.
The longest song clocks in at just over eight minutes, so these guys are blazing the northern sky too fast to get lost in a drone. The longest song "Winter Light' does slow down to gather some hypnotic steam and is the first dramatic change of pace for the band. The song eventually gathers speed and fades into the background a little as their approach held up until you hear what else they can do then it seems like a default. "the Hammer and the Flute" finds them adding some venomous rage to the blast attack. There is a slight hint of thrash in some of the accents. Things slow down again for " A Cool Dark Place" and then erupt again like a volcano in hell. They race against themselves with the drumming making it another test of his endurance. They switch it up all within the expected confines of traditional black metal, nothing that is going redefine the genre.
"White Heaven In Hell" has more of a older Burzum like drive to it mixed with some of Bathory's rawer pre-viking punk. They shift into a faster take on this and it sounds a little rushed, and the snare sound gets stale. So more than four songs in I begin to get numbed out by what they are doing even though there are moments like the more thrashy bridge in this song that are cool , but don't make the song. I'll round these guys up to a 7.5 as they certainly believe in what they are doing and do that well. If you like fast traditional second wave black metal check them out for sure.