Thursday, January 19, 2017

SPECTRAL - Arctic Sunrise review

SPECTRAL - Arctic Sunrise

 Boersma  Records

These days there's at least a ton of bands doing the whole Viking, Black, Power, Thrash and Heavy Metal thing. I mean it's gotten insane with all the bandwagon jumping especially from where these bands are from. Believe it or not there's even one from here in North Carolina. Years ago I remember reviewing a release from a Pagan Viking Black Metal band from Argentina. You can take it as a good thing as in good metal is universal or like I mentioned earlier, bandwagon jumping. One thing is for sure, Germany's SPECTRAL preceded the genre copycats by a good decade.

Unfortunately for SPECTRAL, their name is not as familiar to genre fans as say fellow compatriots FALKENBACH but it damm well should be. I first learned about em in 2008. The band originally started out back in 1995 but didn't get any material out until 1999 when they put out the demo Teutonic Symphony, which is a cool fuckin title. In 2001 they got the ball rolling by putting out their debut full length, Barbaric Assault. Since then they have released a good five releases over the course of time which included line-up changes and now Arctic Sunrise is their sixth.

I'm just gonna come out and say that Arctic Sunrise, when held up to genre standards, is a great album. Although personally I'll always be fond of their Stormriders full length from 2007. Now when I say genre standards I mean that SPECTRAL are covering the bases of what you would expect from a band in this genre. You've got your melodic yet galloping rhythms and the duel vocals (one harsh blackened screams and the other death metal growls). Then of course you've got the keyboards in the background laying a foundation most of the time with an intro here and there. 

As far as lyrical themes go well hey how bout "In Battle with Fire & Steel", "Invaders", "Vengeance in Blood" and of course the title cut are all cliche at this point in time. I think the only surprise was "Fuck Off and Die", a killer heavy metal anthem which had me thinking if this was the band's swan song. Be that as it may this is everything you'd want from a Viking, Black, Power, Thrash and Heavy Metal band. It's 2017, can you stand some more?

Rating: 3/5