Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: Skeletal Spectre - Tomb Coven

Skeletal Spectre themselves describe their debut full-length album as "...a mix of Celtic Frost worship, old-Black Sabbath, and early 90's Swedish Death Metal ala Entombed." Having just formed in 2008, Skeletal Spectre are another addition to a musical era that has become overpopulated with classic death metal revival. This trend has boomed during the span of the last five or six years, most of the releases fading into the void over time. What do these Swedish reminiscers bring with them on Tomb Coven?

Genre: Death/Doom Metal
Label: Razorback Recordings
Release Date: December 2009
  1. The Decapitress
  2. Amulet of Impurity
  3. Eerie Bones
  4. Wrath of Corrupta
  5. Burial Ground
  6. Cursed Ancestry
  7. Tomb Coven
Total Playtime: 29 minutes, 10 seconds







Rating: 7.5/10





Skeletal Spectre themselves describe their debut full-length album as "...a mix of Celtic Frost worship, old-Black Sabbath, and early 90's Swedish Death Metal ala Entombed." Having just formed in 2008, Skeletal Spectre are another addition to a musical era that has become overpopulated with classic death metal revival. This trend has boomed during the span of the last five or six years, most of the releases fading into the void over time. What do these Swedish reminiscers bring with them on Tomb Coven?

On the outside, the cover art really draws one to the album itself. Just the way that skeleton is reaching out to grab you, with the wraiths swooping by in lines behind him, sends chills down the spine and opens up the imagination. The cover art is courtesy of Adam Geyer, who has done cover art for other death/doom artists such as Hooded Menace and Acid Witch. Taking a deeper look within reveals the musicians; Haunting the Beyond (drummer), Behold the Pentagram (bassist/vocalist) and Sacrifice the Virgin (guitarist). Usually names like these would come off completely ridiculous, but for some reason in this instance they don't, they're actually pretty damn cool. It just goes along with the whole sinister vibe of the album cover and even their band logo, both go well with the mystique of the audio content.



Tomb Coven is a very heavy album that is recorded in great quality by current standards, completely avoiding the common forked route of either 1) editing in the 'classic fuzzy distortion' or 2) finding some old beat up gear in one of the band members' dad's attic and recording on that. The crisp production quality of the content is most likely the feature that gives it the fresh feel that it has, despite the occasional bouts of droning that the instruments take on.

The guitar itself has a sharp, deep tone to it that is an endowment to the old days metal. Twangy songs like "Wrath of Corrupta" throw in some upbeat grooves that the content really needs in order to keep the slower songs from getting progressively monotonous. This would work better if the same ongoing string bends on the same two or three frets didn't last throughout the whole album. This trait wears thin fast after the fun in it is exhausted, usually by the second or third complete listen, and is the only real piss off of this content. The bass is mixed high and can be clearly heard thumping in the background, especially when the note is left to ring out. Not complex stuff, but relaxed and enjoyable. The vocals are on the average side, your basic growling voice, and have an echo effect applied to them that doesn't manage to become very effective until the tracks "Burial Ground" and "Eerie Bones".

Tomb Coven is, all in all, another average album that attempts to sound like something straight from the early 1990s. While it succeeds in doing so, it also fails to bring anything new to this overfed revival era besides having some clean production values. The best tracks here are "The Decapitress", "Wrath of Corrupta", "Burial Ground" and "Eerie Bones" as they offer the most variety in the album and have a uniqueness to them in different aspects.  If you enjoy death/doom revival and have been wading the waters for a while, don't expect anything mind blowing from this one, but also don't expect it to be terrible. Tomb Coven gracefully sits in-between and is still good to throw on every now and then for a cheap thrill.

Reactions:

0 Shouts:

Post a Comment