At this point, I really don’t think anyone needs Spectral Voice introduced. This band has decimated stages for some years now, they are one of the best and fucking heaviest death-doom units around these days, and their twin/sister band with which they share a staggering three members (and often the stage as well!) – Blood Incantation – is already an internationally revered death metal powerhouse on a vertical climb for total world domination, and after this monster by Spectral Voice was released by Dark Descent last month, I am sure that will be their fate as well (actually already probably is). It goes without saying that the amount of personal and individual talent going into both bands is mind boggling. These guys are capable of harnessing incredible imaginative powers, all while staying firmly rooted in the tradition of the old and historic heavy metal they love. In this, Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, is both a classic and visionary work, with a foot in each stretch of time – past and future– but the result is not a mere addition of these parts, more like an exponential multiplication of them.
One thing that immediately captured my attention about Corridors is that it is not a sequential or episodic work made of chapters and “moments.” Moreso, it’s like an uninterrupted flow of heathen magma that devours everything. Maybe it’s the albums dismally mental heaviness, or its murky crush-depth that create some kind of forced continuum in the listener’s mind, but I can’t really say that one song stands out more than another or that one of them somehow overshadows others, or that they are even easily identifiable in the constant flow of battering intensity put before you by the band. I felt like something flowed through me from start to finish when I first absorbed the record, and its control over me was uninterrupted. It is undeniable that with Corridors the dudes have definitely attempted at recreating something akin to what Disembowelment did decades ago with their legendary masterpiece Peripheral, and while that piece of history has been emulated many times over the years, Spectral Voice’s is probably the one album that has gotten closer to it in recent years while maintaining its firm stance of also being its own thing at the same time, not a mere copy. While in fact there are strong similarities in Corridors with a ton of ancient legendary death-doom works, this is first and fore most a work with which the band is carving their own way and paving their own path to harness and subdue their own visions and transform into mater a world which would otherwise exist only in their own heads. While the band injected a ton of their own alchemy into this work, Corridors predominantly lives of two secular bastions of death-doom: slow, ominous and clean – almost orchestral – guitars full of reverb that create a crypt-like atmosphere of sadness and dread on one side, and crushing, murky, and cavernous downtuned Bolt Thrower-worshipping cave man death metal riffs on the other.
The result is the very alchemical formula of the most legendary and classic death-doom: long songs that snake in and out death metal and doom, alternating the two in a magmatic flow of despair and of puzzlingly catchy riff mastery. There can not be the effectiveness of the riff without the underlying bonehead metal riffing that has made so many bands we love legendary, and Spectral Voice know this all too well. This is why the care that they have put into the effectiveness and simplicity of every riff they wrote is staggering. They have essentially yielded the maximum results with the minimum effort, and strung together a series of riffs which is unendingly simple and effective – perfect as a result. With so many bands trying hard these days it is mind boggling to hear a band play such simple, catchy, and classic riffs with such personality and inventiveness. This is the main strength of this behemoth album: you can get lost into its murky and abyssal hallways and have your brain squashed like a pumpkin by its absurd psychedelic dirges and its crushing mental intensity, all while banging your head the whole time like a caveman. A pure masterpiece of balance between effectiveness and imagination, and not only a staggering album for what it brings to the table in terms of songwriting, but also a praiseworthy album just for how “smart” and clever it is. All in all a truly monstrous album, where songwriting, production, intents, creativity, and imaginative “worship” of long lost metal legends is done the right way, and which has yielded in turn a work which encompasses every possible aspect of sonic triumph, unifying everything we have loved of ancient and modern metal under one single roof with impeccable taste. Own a copy of this behemoth through Dark Descent Records.