Imagine zero gravity, but you're being pummeled a concrete slab of double-bass grooves that are thicker than sludge, heavier than concrete - oh, and you're being forced to watch Event Horizon while it happens.
Welcome to Eroded Corridors of Unbeing, the new full-length from Spectral Voice.
The past work from Spectral Voice has been both excellent and diverse. The band, originally comprised of Eli Wendler, drums and vocals, and Paul Riedl, guitars, added a few members over the years to fill out their lineup and their sound. The band released a few demos and eventually one of them, Necrotic Doom, expanded the reach of the band. Heavy tracks that sounded as much like Xibalba and classic 90s metalcore as much as it sounded like sludgy deep space death metal.
Fast forward to the present.
The new album contains just five tracks, but clears 44 minutes. You're in for an epic, heavy, atmospheric ride. I'd call it a journey, but something this heavy better resembles battles in a war than a trip through the countryside.
Every song on this album feels like it could stand alone, able to draw you in and what the band has created, but they still flow together seamlessly. The first 15 times I streamed this on the Dark Descent Bandcamp page, it seemed like it was over too soon. The same was true for the next 15 listens. I'm still waiting for my pre-order to arrive and when it does, the contents will get just as much use as my speakers are getting right now.
Atmosphere is everything for the Spectral Voice experience. I haven't seen the band live, but I've seen videos and photos - it's soft, deep purple light and fog that enshrouds the entire band. They match their live ambiance perfectly to the sounds they create.
The second track on the new album, "Visions of Psychic Dismemberment," was the first track leaked over the summer as part of the Dark Descent Sampler #5. This track put me in an entirely separate and unique place mentally.
The song has a grand introduction, the kind of epic guitar work that begs to be cheesy, but somehow isn't, more ominous and foreboding. The vocal variation from Wendler is also extremely well done, turning the vocals into more than just another instrument. His death metal growls juxtaposed by genuine screams akin to a horror flick or right out of Predator in the jungle as the invisible hunter takes you out. The sludge then buries you and you fade out as Riedl and his Moog take over.
The middle jam is an instrumental that reminds me of some similar approaches from some old bands that were more black metal in nature, specifically this track from Lengsel. The pounding rhythm of the drums, while the guitars build more slowly over that, taking you step-by-step, note-by-note while subconsciously you're being thrust forward by what lies underneath. The end of the instrumental sounds like it could have easily been from Season 1 of The X-Files when Eugene Tooms watches with those eyes, or any other episode really.
I think that's the overarching thing - the other, the feeling - to take away from this stellar new album. They're painting a heavy, bleak, intense auralscape. You could be deep in space, on a demon-possessed spacecraft, you could be in a cave in Australia, you could be in the jungle with heavy artillery and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, the sound that Spectral Voice has summoned on their first full-length will hunt you, unseen, and devour you.
by Daniel Coughlin