Sunday, 29 August 2010

Spirits of the Dead - Spirits of the Dead (Big Dipper Records)

Hailing from the west coast of Norway, Spirits of the Dead are a psychedelic prog-rock four piece that have very obvious influences from the moment you press play. Their self titled debut album is full of songs that bare resemblance to some of the big names of the seventies; Zeppelin, Sabbath, King Crimson, Cream and there’s even a bit of Pink Floyd in there for good measure. These influences are helped along by the fact that they have got George Marino in to master the album, who is famous for mastering albums from Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix (amongst many others) back in the day. So this album has a very vintage sound. 

Spirits of the Dead starts strongly with the eight minute long opening track ‘White Lady/ Black Rave’ in which we hear the band moving between a classic Rock n Roll sound and a more psychedelic ambiance filled with big guitars and Rhodes pianos aplenty. The transitions are smooth and the sections compliment each other well; the same of which can be said for the next few songs, they sound authentic, raw and very well written. By the fourth song on the album, everything is starting to get a little darker and more moody. The songs have lost their Rock n Roll edge, and have become much heavier and more distorted. I hate to say it but this ruins the whole album for me. The vocals become hard to listen to, they sound out of tune and out of place. The album starts to lose its authenticity, to the point that I was starting to imagine midgets running around a mini Stonehenge… I have to say that I was genuinely disappointed with the second half of this album. After what was an extremely positive start, I was expecting the whole album to be full of homages to the seventies, and it would have been a great listen. But as it is, it becomes a messy album full of songs with potential, but none of the finishing touches it needs to pull of the ideas that are there. 5/10

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