Sunday, 2 December 2012

Spectral Haze - ST demo (album review)

Spectral Void are a Heavy Psych band from Oslo, Norway that play "Psyched Out Doom Rock Rituals", according to their own Facebook page.  One might call the style they play "Mood Music for Sorcerers."

"Forging an Astral Void" kicks off with a riff drenched in reverb that recalls "Ego the Living Planet" by Monster Magnet.  Wild calls and howls rain from the smoky astral void as the band moves through a series of improvised sections.

Second number "Kali Magick" is a tremolo heavy slow mover that builds a house of doom from an early electric Muddy Waters / John Lee Hooker delta blues foundation.  The rhythm shambles and thumps through the foetid depths of cyclopean gambrels layered with gibbous effect-laden guitar.  While many bands pay lyrical homage to H.P. Lovecraft, few actually capture the eldritch mood of his stories.

The opening of the next track "Kashf (Gaining Familiarity with Things Unseen Behind the Veils)" takes the mood of "Kali Magic" and does away with the effects, becoming more of a straight ahead slow jam until about five and a half minutes in when the band decides to hook the listener after gaining his trust by turning the eldritch meter up to 11, taking the listener on a journey through unknown Kadath.

"Tribe of the Cosmic Crow Giant" is a blow your hair back cruise through the endless reaches of space in the best Hawkwindian tradition.  It's the most structured song on the 4 track demo for sure, and the go to number for those looking to rock out.

All in all, the demo is successful in capturing a specific mood or theme in sound, that which can be described as 'cosmic sorcery'.  And like fellow Scandinavian psychedelic magicians Saturnalia Temple, they do it earnestly and they do it well.

Highlights include: "Forging an Astral Void" and "Tribe of the Cosmic Crow Giant"

Rating: 4.5/5

Total Run Time: 33:38

From: Oslo, Norway

Genre: Psychedelic, Doom, Sludge, Space Rock, Stoner

Reminds me of: Dr. Strange comics, Hawkwind, Monster Magnet, Saturnalia Temple

Release Date: September 21, 2012

Suggested listening activity for fellow non-stoners: The new (un)official soundtrack for cosmic battles with Baron Mordo, Shuma Gorath or the dread Dormammu!

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