Spectral Voice - Sparagmos
Dark Descent Records
4 songs (45:37)
Release year: 2024
Official Label Bandcamp
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

A long seven years after their well-received debut, Coloradans Spectral Voice have returned to shiver your timbers with more horrific doom-death. And they're as effective as ever, making another atmospheric and intense listen that creeps up on you and slowly envelopes. Taken from Greek myth, "sparagmos" is the ritual dismemberment of a victim, often followed by cannibalistic consumption, and it's the perfect theme for a gloomy set of tracks like this. Doombahs will be in their own particular heaven; opener Be Cadaver takes three minutes before the first vocals make an appearance, ghostly gasps and growls echoing over a near-funeral doom instrumental backdrop. It develops in a particularly strange, piecemeal way, building from disparate moments until blastbeats and rumbling intensity rule; yet it never becomes chaotic or overwhelming, even the later clean choirs in the backdrop seeming considered and relevant. Ritualistic bells and percussion in the outro make this a more than intelligent piece, even with the ensuing violence that opens Red Feasts Condensed Into One.

Here, the intensity and chaos overwhelm; blasts and growls out of nowhere, until all dies away and a solo riff emerges, leading the listener through the fog. The black metal instinct of darkness and profound violence is present and correct in moments like the dip into speed around the four-minute mark, yet the ritualistic doom takes precedence - listen to that midway point where the track devolves into cultlike percussion before restarting with booming grandiosity! And the later epic sense of melody never fails to impress or grip, the band's capabilities remarkable here and on the following (relatively short at just seven minutes) Sinew Censer, an initially galloping assault that soon slows and piles on the misery in a particularly delicious trudge through doom murk.

Near-thirteen-minute finale Death's Knell Rings in Eternity is, initially at least, the most classic and true doom of all the pieces present, echoing and psychedelic a la the previous review's Evoken references with plenty of turns for darker, heavier, more rumbling and even brutal territory. It's just as gripping as previous pieces, and caps the album off well. The fact that this band shares members of acts like Black Curse and Blood Incantation would be enough to sell this if the music itself wasn't, yet even if you're not a particular funeral doom devotee, it's undeniable that this is often better than either act. Perhaps not a revelatory example of doom-death, certainly an album that shows the genre off at its atmospheric best.

Killing Songs :
All, especially Be Cadaver, Red Feasts Condensed Into One, Death's Knell Rings in Eternity
Goat quoted 86 / 100
Other albums by Spectral Voice that we have reviewed:
Spectral Voice - Eroded Corridors of Unbeing reviewed by Andy and quoted 83 / 100
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