This hard-hitting debut from the Dutch newcomers is challenging, complex, and (almost) accessible. The pummeling rhythms vary wildly from song to song and within each song is, you guessed it, even more variation. Joël Oorebeek’s vocals alternate from a beastly snarl to angry drill sergeant barks to the refreshingly refined. Overall, it feels like he is still trying to find his voice, but in the meantime, what he brings punishes quite nicely. The album is full of chunky djent (“Beyond the Clouds”) and driving head bashers (“Jigsaw,”) each filled with wonderfully unpredictable counter melodies. It contains lots of moving parts that can be quite mind whipping at times. In that regard, “Shadow Dancer” with its manic vocal delivery and guitar frenetics is a real standout here. At least to my ear, Subspectral is still trying to find its sound. Thus, my phrase “almost accessible.” Musically and vocally, they seem to be taking all the approaches, yet somehow just don’t jibe…yet. This is completely subjective, of course, and I recommend you give it a good listen and decide for yourself.
What is certain, is that Subspectral has created an incredibly ambitious and thought-provoking album that is worthy of (and requires) several spins. Watching their evolution will be very interesting, indeed.
"an incredibly ambitious and thought-provoking album"
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