SPIRITS OF THE DEAD - Spirits Of The Dead

Spirits Of The Dead - Spirits Of The Dead

7 songs
37:17 minutes
***** ****
White Elephant / Big Dipper


Back in the days, recording techniques were less sophisticated than they are today, and while digital technology makes a lot of things easier, the warm sound of the early Seventies is rarely reproduced with contemporary equipments. That’s why many bands rely on the goold, old analogue material to pay tribute to their forefathers. Norwegian quartet Spirits Of The Dead are one more such band in a long line of contemporary retro artists, and their self-titled debut is an authentic sounding piece of Seventies rock, and much more.

What sets Spirits Of The Dead apart from likewise bands is that they never limit themselves to just a single genre. Instead they open-mindedly brew a savoury cocktail of doom metal, progressive rock and psychedelia. Bookended by the two longer eight minute epics White Lady / Black Rave and Spirits Of The Dead, the album’s middle section is filled with five shorter tracks that even work better. The opener starts with an archaic sounding organ sound which introduces a song that could be straight from forty years back. The following The Waves Of Our Ocean may only be half as long, but its catchier structure makes it an instant winner. I especially like Ragnar Vikse’s extremely varied singing. He manages everything from gritty rock parts to nearly feminine sounding melodies. But also the Deadly Nightshade’s bass guitar does more than just delivering basic rhythms. He always finds room to insert melodic fills that add to the overall splendid impression. Guitarist Ole Øvstedal is always at his best when he plays his incredibly fuzzy solos. Highlight is T.I.T. (Traveller In Time), a five minute track that has to offer everything, from mellow ballad parts to heart-wrenching proggy hard rock extravaganza.

Spirits Of The Dead is a nearly impeccable debut. The songwriting is on an incredibly high level throughout, sometimes even outstanding, and the only criticism is the album’s short length, because one could have done with at least ten more minutes of such classy retro rock. Fans of Seventies rock yearning for a truly inspiring band will have to look no further.

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