Record Label: Profound Lore Records
There are bands that try to reinvent themselves and renew their style at every release, either to avoid the risk of falling into repetitiveness, or to expand the personal musical tastes of members. On the other side, there are bands that continue undaunted at each release through the ways already furrowed previously, re-proposing the styles and coordinates expressed in previous works, without however falling into repetitiveness and self-plagiarism: the Canadians Spectral Wound is one of these.
I met them with Infernal Decadence that I continue to listen to nowadays since its release, as it contains all the styles of Black Metal that I prefer: melancholy and fury that, combined, give life to a work that is almost perfect to my ears. So I also went to get their debut album, Terra Nullius, thus realizing how already at the dawn of their career, this band was able to express such a high potential. So I had very high expectations regarding the release of this new A Diabolic Thirst, expectations that were confirmed very high when I listened to the first single “Frigid And Spellbound”, which foreshadowed the return of this black musical project in all its pride. I was therefore totally satisfied from the beginning of “Impérial Saison Noire “ which, preceded by noises of fire, starts with a dark riff that follows in the footsteps of those of the previous album. The sonic assault is the typical one on Infernal Decadence, ditto for the demonic voice and the sound of the guitars: a song that seems straight out of that album to continue spreading its black message. Listening to it feels like wandering through a forest in flames, especially during the more rhythmic part of the song, in which a guitar weaves a sinister melody and then re-explodes the song in all its ferocity with its frenzied blast beat. There is even room for a technical and fleeting solo towards the end.
This is followed by those as mentioned earlier first single released “Frigid And Spellbound” from which you are thrilled: the initial melodies are wonderful, then supported by the typical frenzied blast beat of the band. Then follows another typical section of Infernal Decadence, in typical Finnish Black Metal style. The best part is when the initial riff is resumed and then harmonized by another guitar with a truly remarkable result: you can’t ask for better from a track like this one. A moment of respite is granted with a melancholy acoustic break embellished by the croaking of a crow. Superb the next riff in blast-beat, which re-expresses the full potential of the band. It is up to the opening melody to close the track, without a doubt my favorite album of the whole.
“Soul Destroying Black Debauchery” contains tight but also thoughtful riffs, in Finnish Black Metal style. The song emanates crazy desperation, giving the idea of a dear thing that is lost and will never be recovered. The last blasted riff resumes with a more rhythmic drum tempo, a rhythm that continues in the next riff in which the voice continues to express itself diabolically. Here too we have a short melody to embellish and make everything shine through with desperation. Sargeist is the band to which the song is more to be compared, but with a greater charge of desperation, with the guitars that seem to cry all the malaise contained here.
“Mausoleal Drift” is introduced by whistles of guitars and drums as the entrance to a bleak riff that juggles between power chords and arpeggiated notes. Then comes a heavy, cadenced and catacombic riff then embellished with a melody that creates a dark pathos. An acceleration then enters, during which the guitar weaves disturbing melodies that seem to come out of hell and create tension. It continues with a Sargeist-style attack always desperate and full of hatred for all forms of life: the riffing continues in the following parts until the end of the song, in which drums and guitars with power chords and arpeggios make their entrance again. It is a track that will delight both lovers of slower black metal and the fastest and most murderous one.
“Fair Lucifer, Sad Relic” was the second single released and begins with an outburst that oozes evil, and then leaves room for a more epic riff always in blast-beat. It is the typical Spectral Wound song that combines more difficult parts with more melancholic ones, all always rigorously in an old-school perspective. The section in the second part of the song where the guitar melody enters is really suggestive. For me one of the best episodes of the lot along with “Frigid And Spellbound“. The latest “Diabolical Immanence” begins with a cheeky black n roll attack, then enters the tremolo guitar, pushing the atmosphere into the most typical style of the band, continuing with a blast-beat that is the background to icy and evil riffs. The melodic riff that comes later reminds me of the Swedish Black Metal school. Also interesting is the arpeggiated part that seems to project the listener into another dimension, which flows into a reflective and desolate formula.
The episode closes with the fire noise used for the beginning of the first song, thus closing the album as it started. Spectral Wound, once again, reconfirms its value within today’s scene proving to be one of the best Black Metal bands around. One of those bands that hopefully never change direction.