In the long Scandinavian winter nights of the 1990s, the harshness of (melodic) death was combined with the icy attitude of black metal and created a suffocating darkness, which some bands have managed to maintain up to the present day. Joining that (not so) merry throng if The Spirit, who were formed in Saarbrücken in 2015, THE SPIRIT are a young, but by no means inexperienced band. Their songs thrive on creative rhythms, swirling melodies and an inherently frosty attitude. This, their debut album, was originally self-released but it has been picked up by Nuclear Blast and reissued so that it will be heard by a much wider audience than previously. Straight from the beginning one can see why the label has snatched them up, as this is an incredibly polished album, which is full of confidence and power.

They are quite content to dispense with vocals and have extended instrumental passages, which are massively complex and complicated as the notes intertwine and move like vines which are creeping over everything, mingling and mangling as they go. The album is packed full of melodies, and the only real concern for me is the production that has been provided to the drums as there are times when they just don’t come across as powerful as they need to when music is as majestic and powerful as this. They are soon heading out on tour as they gain the benefits of being signed to one of the world’s largest metal labels, and I am sure we are going to be hearing a great deal more from The Spirit. Well worth investigating by anyone into melodic death.

Rating: 6/10

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