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Latest press of this cult, classic US Death Metal record from Spectral Voice.
Spectral Voice’s “Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing,” was without a doubt, my favorite release of 2017, but also probably my favorite release of the last few years. Spectral Voice combine the monstrous bellow of doom metal, with a particularly filthy, cavernous brand of death metal. Bands like Disembowlment, Cianide, Asphyx, and Autopsy had already created a template tor this lurking Frankenstein of metal genres, but for me Spectral Voice accomplish it in an especially vile, crushing manner.
The first few minutes of mood setting, guitar chords on “Thresholds Beyond” conjure up memories of doom legends Asunder, and their album “Clarion Call.” The melancholic progression of guitar chords, and the gargantuan monolithic sound, feel very familiar, in the best way possible. The tempo picks up around the two minute mark, and the music transitions to the more death metal side of things, with a rolling drum beat, tremolo guitar, and cavernous, Incantation style, growling. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the production, as clearly a lot of care was taken. The album has a very deep, heavy, sound, common of doom albums, yet it’s very precise sounding, with all the instruments being audible.
The vocals really caught my attention, when they shifted from that Craig Pillard, whispery guttural, sound to a gut wrenching, higher pitched, yell, that sound like they are spewing straight from the pit of the singers stomach. I’m familiar with this type of screamed vocal, as you can find it in a lot of grindcore or crust bands. It has a deep, yet raw sound, similar to Barney from Napalm Death or the singer of Nails. There’s even a few moments on “Visions Of Psychic Dismemberment,” where the drummer/singer employs a reverb drenched, semi-clean style, yell. What I’m really trying to get at it, is the dynamic way the vocals are approached, which mirror the way the songs are structured. The music regularly moves from funeral doom dirges, to tremolo heavy death metal assaults, and to accompany these changes are different vocal styles.
The songs are all fairly long, ranging from five to fourteen minutes, while remaining engaging all the way through. Each song is divided into different passages, moving from doom to death metal, and then into a hybrid of the two, made up of a succession of fairly simple riffs, which pin you under their weight.
In many ways, for this style of metal, it’s a very traditional album, but it sounds very new and unique, which is one of the albums greatest accomplishments, outside of sounding absolutely killer and totally slaying. There is something special about the album, that sets it apart from previous attempts at the death/doom sound. They also manage to avoid each song sounding the same as the last, by creating something that feels like one long piece, made up of shorter passages. I could sing the praises of this album all day, but I’ll conclude by saying Spectral Voice achieve a very idiosyncratic sound within the framework of a well established genre.
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