Spiral Of Ascension

Written by: PP on 08/12/2011 04:55:32

"Spiral Of Ascension" is the name of the debut album by Manchester, UK-based progressive death metal group Spires. If your head is immediately drawn towards Opeth with the bare mention of the genre, you're in the right place as Spires use Åkerfeldt & co as their main inspiration throughout the record, while also bringing in some elements from genre pioneers Cynic in the process.

But a copycat record it is not. Though the ingredients of their sound are from the Opeth songbook loud and clear, what with the thunderous death metal passages that mix with elegant acoustic soundscapes, and the classy clean singing vs forceful growling dynamic they have going on, but Spires guides us through the genre in a slightly softer and more thoughtful manner. Where Opeth have a tendency to sometimes dabble on the verge of over-ambition given their colossal sound structures, Spires go for an ever so slightly simpler expression overall.

That, however, does not prevent the band from executing some simply brilliant instrumental sequences such as the majestic soloing in "The Infinite Descent", which is juxtaposed with powerful death metal on the background, or the gentle acoustic interludes that soothe the listener afterward. The vocalist is not quite as good as Åkerfeldt, but delivers an impressive performance nonetheless, effortlessly alternating between using his voice as an extra instrument when growling, and showcasing his softer side during the numerous clean passages of the record.

Overall, "Spiral Of Ascension" is a solid piece of progressive death metal that all Opeth fans should be lapping up without difficulty. It may not be a genre-defining masterpiece, but the sheer elegance of the expression is worthy of a peek for any metal fan who wants more than just masculinity out of his music.


Download: The Infinite Descent
For the fans of: Opeth, Cynic
Listen: Myspace

Release date 01.11.2011

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