Thursday, 30 October 2014

Spectral Haze - I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains (Album Review)


Album Type: Full Length
Date Released: 10/11/2014
Label: Soulseller Records


‘I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains’ CD/LP track listing:

01 I.E.V. I - Circumambulating Mount Meru (04:10)
02 Mercurian Mantra (07:44)
03 Black Gandharvas (11:03)
04 I.E.V. II - Observing the Centre of Infinity (02:51)
05 Descent Through the Intravoidal (06:02)
06 Triads and Trishulas (13:51)

Spectral Haze is:

Spacewülff | Interstellar Howls/Geetarrrgh
Sönik Slöth | Supercosmic overdrive pedalinfused guitarvoid
Döômdögg | Dronemachinated AUM
Cëlestïal Cöbra | Conjurer of souls through ritual drums

Bio:

Spectral Haze was first conjured from the Void three years ago, through four sonick sorcerers residing in Oslo, Norway; Cëlestial Cöbra (Battery), Döömdogg (Bass guitar), Spacewülff (Vocals, guitars) and Sönik Slöth (Guitars). Through these last few years, Spectral Haze has undulated and grown into channeling through a fifth vessel, namely Electric Starling (Theremin, VOID). The upcoming album "I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains" follows their eponymous debut EP released in 2012 CE, and brings even more psyched out doom rock rituals.

Review:

Spectral Haze- “Psyched Out Doom Rock Rituals.” That’s about all that’s written in this Oslo, Norway 4 Pieces Bio and it’s a pretty accurate statement aside from the “doom” part. I don’t really see all that much of a doom vibe from these guys, sure there are sabbathian flourishes here and there, but what you really get is huge fuzzy riffs, sparse yet pyched out-effects heavy vocals and full tilt space rock ala Hawkwind with a good bit of swagger thrown in for good measure.

The album starts out with a nice spacey intro right into a thundering rhythm that undulates and swirls into warp speed with the first track acting as an intro until you are thrust into the second track of the record. I really like this track as a record intro and specifically the approach it takes as a steady build into track two.  ‘Mercurian Mantra’ is just as thundering and groovy as the last track, it is also the first introduction to the bands vocals which come across as reverb heavy and manic. Great keyboard and effects are used on this song, upping the space rock ante and lead heavily to the darker parts of the track. Definitely a very trippy feeling of dissonance.

The first two songs play on each other with similar feels for a sort of combined effect. Enter “Black Gandharvas” with a darker and more straight ahead swagger to it. This song brings into play the sabbathian flourishes I mentioned early. A good head bobbing ass kicker of a track. At about seven and a half minutes into the song, it shape shifts into an acid rock harmonized guitar part before snapping back into the signature gallop to finish the track out in a fever dream state.

Track four is another instrumental track on the record and it reminds me of the first track the flip on a vinyl- and acts as an intro to the end of the record if you will. Another rad space rock sounding short, leading into the fifth track of the album, ‘Descent Through the Intravoidal’ which starts off with a very surf rock sounding part mixed with this bands space rock sound, it works superbly. This is the standout track on the album not only because it is different than the rest of the record but because it takes the sum of all the bands parts, throws them into warp speed and makes me love being in for the ride. Towards the end it pumps the brakes a bit and melds seamlessly with the last track and effective outro of the record.

The final track is a 13 minute jam of slowed down space rock bleakness, groove heavy plodding into a weird 70’s grind house sounding exit that works like a reverse version of the intro to the record. A very good and well played closer by the band.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed ‘I.E.V.: Transmutated Nebula Remains’, and find it hard to make many critiques. The record flows perfectly and takes the listener on a complete voyage with tons of different psychedelic aspects that make it stand out. This is a nice take on the stoner rock/metal genre and I really like the approach these guys are taking to it. I’ve heard a lot of comparisons to the mighty Monster Magnet when people talk about Spectral haze, and that’s a hell of a compliment, but I’m not seeing it so much (I’m a self proclaimed Monster Magnet superfan) as I am seeing big influences from Hawkwind’s catalogue. That’s also a pretty big compliment and something you don’t see too much of these day, and neither is this record! I look forward to more from these guys in the future and I would really like to see how these songs translate in a live setting.

Words by: David Heaton

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