Review: Spectral Voice – “Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing”
Guest reviewer Sean Wright drops in to give you a look into the new Spectral Voice album.
The first thing that pops into my mind when listening to the long-awaited debut album by Colorado death-doom shapeless beings, Spectral Voice, is the scene from this year’s most talked about Lovecraftian/Carpenter-worship horror film “The Void.” In one scene it has the main villain standing in front of a gateway to the ‘void’ and saying the bone-chilling words “I am here to defy God.” Hell, in fact when one mentions Spectral Voice, a lot of not just Lovecraftian metaphors, but various states of mental torment come to mind. Spectral Voice’s music lies somewhere between the uncharted vastness of the macrocosms and the unknown subconscious of the microcosmic human brain. Where exactly one can pinpoint this particular location is beyond anyone’s understanding. Some say it’s in Finland. Others say in Antarctica. There are even the various kooks that claim a mental institution in Arkham. Regardless of the precise location, Spectral Voice do know one thing pure and clear: Fear. Torment. Decay. Pain. Dread. All those disgusting things that unravel the very fabrics of our existence, Spectral Voice are now the heirs to that throne of absolute terror.
It should be noted to the uneducated that about 3/4th’s of the members of Spectral Voice are from Colorado’s death metal usurpers Blood Incantation. But don’t call Spectral Voice a ‘side-project.’ Spectral Voice, and a completely different abomination. Last year Blood Incantation opened up a portal with the album Starspawn that even the likes of Morbid Angel wouldn’t dare summon forth. But Blood Incantation had a solid form. Blood Incantation had various properties, and texture to their music. Physical bounds to what they were doing even if they WERE pushing past previous boundaries. Spectral Voice on the other hand, if I may wrap this intro comparison up, are nothing more than the shapeless fear of absolute fucking dread. They simply exist to BE that void itself. Filled in it’s oblivion-like abyss with unnameable horrors. To give what Spectral Voice does a mere explanation would certainly be the most damnable mistake.
Contrasting and Lovecratian language aside, the debut full length album by Spectral Voice – Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing – out October 15th via Dark Descent Records, is without a doubt Death Metal AOTY. Forget everything else you know about 2017 in terms of death metal. True, bands such as Immolation, and Father Befouled have released really amazing albums this year as far as death metal goes. Not taking anything away from those bands. But 2017 easily goes to Spectral Voice. Spectral Voice have been building momentum, and dare I say hype, for the past 5 demos. With Spectral Voice, the hype is real and to be heard and believed. Most notable out of those demos would be the infamous Necrotic Doom demo from 2015. If you were like a lot of people who got turned onto Blood Incantation, you (more than likely) heard about Spectral Voice because of them. Spectral Voice, the other band of Blood Incantation members, finally get their chance to unleash a different kind of death metal than what took the metal world by storm last year. The main difference is where the influences stem from is not from Florida, but the Finnish death metal scene as well as other various geographical locations. Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing echoes the cavernous howls of Incantation, obtusely angular Bolt Thrower riffs, while tapping into the arpeggios of dISEMBOWLMENT, the slow mental decay of Autopsy, and providing the most disturbing and mind-altering moments of Unholy (Finland). I’m sure some fans can point out any other various sounds, riffs, or influences that I might have missed, but that’s the beauty of Spectral Voice is that it’s a form of not just death metal, but extreme death-doom that has no boundaries while providing an essential existence within the genre: to give life where life does not dwell.
“Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” contains 5 songs. You might think to yourself “Well that’s malarkey! I want more!” Believe me, there is more than enough RIFFS on this monster of an album to keep your mind occupied. If I am to be completely honest, speaking as a fan, I don’t think I could even fathom having say possibly 2 or 3 more songs. The density of this album is unreal. The sheer weight and volume that comes along with this monstrosity of a musical monolithic masterpiece is absolutely crushing. At times it’s too much almost. On top of the sheer mass of riffs there are, you also have to look at the fact that number-wise, it’s not as many riffs as you would expect. If you’re expecting a mind-fuckery of an album such as “Starspawn” in terms of guitar riff numerical value, guess again. “Eroded Corridors of Unbeing” takes it’s time for you to feel the simplicity of the riffs. Not as first mind you. The first time I listened to this album my mind was completely blown away. Given enough time to mull over and actually listen, I found out that whereas “Starspawn” was all about warping the art of death metal at light speed, “Eroded Corridors Of Unbeing” is more of a decaying breakdown process. A certain entropy-like quality to it. It has passages containing blast beats and all the other necessary implements of a death-doom Metal album, but when those slow, thunderous, crawling riffs hit, you feel your entire skeletal system freezing into a ice-like rigid support structure about to break into a million pieces. On top of the riffs, and the alternating speeds, there’s the strange, hallucinatory-like atmospheric parts where you hear static-like white noise in the beginning of “Thresholds Beyond”, and Moog-like synths in the ending to song such as “Visions of Psychic Dismemberment” and “The Lurking Gloom.” Giving the album a very bad acid trip-like feel to it. At times it’s better to just simply experience, rather than describe and repeat ad nauseam.
If the band members decided to call it quits on Spectral Voice and focus their ancient energies onto their main band Blood Incantation, I would be absolutely fine with that. Death metal should not sound this fucking good. My only fear now is that I will never know exactly what the fuck that spiked triangular THING is adorning the album’s front cover art. Be afraid. Be very afraid.