Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Spirit Division - No Rapture (2016) / 84%

When the Doom Explodes

Indianapolis is not exactly Baltimore as far as doom metal is concerned but the Midwestern city still offered great offering to the gods of slow thundering metal with The Gates of Slumber and Apostle of Solitude. There’s some newcomers following in their footsteps like Void King, the demented black/sludge/doom of Coffinworm and those three guys I’m covering today.

I wanted to tackle their solid debut when it was released last year but it never happened, luckily their sophomore release is as good. While a bit on the short side (thirty minutes should be an EP if we’re talking about doom), the album managed to hit all the right notes with me. The trio is apt at tempo changes as they alternates between the mid-paced jam packed washing machine might (opener “Whispers in the Embers”) and their fast paced fifty ton garbage truck approach (“When the Sun Explodes”). Spirit Division are able to vary their formula without going overboard with often superfluous lengthy numbers. Indeed, all the tracks except the opener and the closer are all below the four minutes mark, their spirit of concision is one of their strengths. They do unleash a relatively short epic at the end of the album with “Wendigo” and it’s perhaps my highlight of the record.

The musicianship is rock solid too, the bass playing of singer Chris Latta is loud and thick, the soloing and riffing of Stephen Hoffman (now out of the band, their lineup has always been unstable unfortunately) are massive and possess the necessary heaviness to keep us hooked. Latta’s vocals are deep, powerful and like the music, they have this manly blues attitude mixed with the operatic side of epic doom metal.

They’re a band with a lot of potential but I feel the best is to come, their sound can still be expanded and improved even if I really liked this album. They don’t wear their infleunces on their sleeves either, even if you can guess that Pentagram is important for them, their sound is fresh, heavy and definitely needs more attention. At times, it’s almost like you’re listening to a way heavier version of Clutch and that’s pretty damn awesome.

Originally published on The Metal Observer

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