If you are looking for a new metal force with an extreme breath to their sound than you could do far worse than taking a listen to UK band Blood Of The Spectre. With their debut self titled EP they do more than enough to convince they could be one of the most formidable weapons in British metal. The release is not perfect but leaves one convinced of their future and promise, both unmistakeably mighty.
Released June 25th, the EP is the first step in a wider annihilation of the masses by the band. Since their beginning in 2009, Blood Of The Spectre has earned a well deserved recognition for their live shows, the quintet leaving depleted husks and deeply contented victims from their stage power across the length and width of England alone and in support of bands like Evita, Touché Amore, Monuments, Malefice, You Me At Six and The Blackout. The Hampshire band take no prisoners nor show any mercy but are not just about destructive tendencies, combining unbridled mountainous aggression with concise technical invention, intrusive scorched melodic play, and dehabilitating breakdowns they create songs which spark the senses as equally as they crumble the walls surrounding them. The EP arguably fails to bring the full force of their live show to its contents but still shows enough balls and focused aggression to leave others in the shade.
The release opens with an excellent instrumental called simply Introduction and that is what it is. A welcoming declaration of what is to come, an invite to stand before a brewing force. With an appealing grooved lure and thumping rhythms to compliment the punchy riffs the track is near mesmeric even if maybe lacks anything remarkable. The following Darkened Majesty is an immediate proof of the intent suggested by its predecessor. The track licks at the ear initially before opening up in to a surge of addictive riffs and hungry rhythms whilst vocalist Nick Brooks drips venom and grizzled energy from every syllable. His delivery is not the most original but makes a bruising companion to the manipulative melodic teasing of guitarists Richard Jacobs and Dominic Pool. Switching pace and intensity throughout the band do not spare a second for reflection or breath and it is an impressive start continued by the following Defeatist.
Initially the track is much like its previous companion and without a concentrated attention they can simply merge. Focus though shows a varied sonic display from the guitarists within the thunderous intensity and a great brooding bass presence from Tom Farrington who eventually by the EP end probably impressed the most, though all on the release show great quality and intent. The track is another fine example of the well crafted blend the band achieve of thoughtful and carefully structured technical enterprise and an uncomplicated oppressive aggression. The mix is balanced and mutually generous even if that possibly depletes the full live intensity of the band upon the EP, and gives a fresh feel with every visit.
The consuming storm that is Lexical Grip and Dystopia The first is a ravenous brew of confrontational riffs and rhythms with drummer Laurence Ash taking pot shots at the ear like a primed boxer within his eager precise attack. Again the song seamlessly moves through the knee buckling bombardments into melodically driven slices of absorbing guitar invention back again. The second of the two with the bass as rabid as you could wish, pulls a violating fury and spiteful presence out of its depths to entangle the senses in a willing submission. The band has had comparisons to the likes of TesseracT, Sylosis, Killswitch Engage and Black Dahlia Murder often placed upon them and this song gives reasons why with its feverish mesh of sounds.
Splitting these two songs is the outstanding instrumental called….Interlude, yep no mincing words with these boys. The piece is wonderful, just guitar and atmosphere in union for one and a half blissful minutes as the band highlight their melodic skill and imagination perfectly.
Ending with the creative and ever evolving End Era, the EP is a thoroughly satisfying and powerful release giving evidence to why Blood Of The Spectre have carved such promise for themselves ahead. Being critical a variation on the vocals with more group contribution and at times a better distinction between songs, though the way they flow as one breath is quite impressive, would possibly have helped ignite bigger flames than the release did overall but it is nevertheless a great collection of tracks from an outstanding band.