Thursday, 21 September 2017

Spectral Haze - Turning Electric (Album Review)


Release date: October 20th 2017. Label: Totem Cat Records. Format: CD/DD/VInyl

Turning Electric – Tracklisting

1. The Dawn Of The Falcon
2. Turning Electric
3. Cathexis/Mask Of Transformation
4. Ajaghandi
5. They Live
6. Master Sorcerer

Members

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

Review

Spectral Haze return with their new album - Turning Electric - and their first release for their new label - Totem Cat Records. Turning Electric sees Spectral Haze taking the bold and bravado from legendary Stoner Rockers Monster Magnet and the classic psychedelic sounds of the mighty Hawkwind. With the album being a very exciting and fast paced affair.

The opening track - The Dawn Of The Falcon - opens with a psychedelic whirlwind exploding into a myriad of different sounds. Before the heavy stoner riffs and high calibre vocals of Spacewülff appear. The song runs frantically with its Hawkwind inspired space rock vibes before fully exploding into a Monster Magnet style rhythm. The vocals are very good indeed. Not the most original of vocals but they have quite a flair about them. The music on the other hand is vibrant with the band playing a faster and more fluid style of Space/Stoner Rock. The only thing that I didn't enjoy about this song was the constant piano sounds that slows the mood right down.

Second song - Turning Electric - carries on the same mood and atmosphere from the opening track and unfortunately the piano makes another brief appearance. The lyrics are very cool indeed. Simply written but with a catchy sing-along chorus. The whole mood of the song is very fast indeed with Spectral Haze adding weirder and wonderfully psychedelic spaced out sounds to the mix.

Third track - Cathexis/Mask Of Transformation - has a more classic fuzz rock feel with the band also adding a doomier feel. The vocals have a more "heavy-metal" feel compared to other songs on the album with vocalist Spacewülff changing styles at different parts of the song. Though they have a distinctive Dave Wyndorf vibe to them. The second part of the song sees Spectral Haze enter into "Earthless" jam-based psychedelic rock territory. This song is the standout song on the album. As it's quite epic at times.

The next two songs Ajaghandi and They Live - offer almost thirteen minutes of superbly played Psych/Stoner Rock. The fuzzy guitars make Spectral Haze's sound standout even more. As the whole tone of the album becomes decidedly clearer and louder. There are quite a few demonic sounding laughs lurking in the background that adds a sense of devilish fun to the whole flow and feel of the album.

The final track - Master Sorcerer - has a more world weary vibe compared to the other songs on the album. As the riffs are doomier and slightly sinister in tone. Spectral Haze approach this song with a sense of dread with the band writing truly "classic" doom metal sounding lyrics. This song shows you that the band are not all about space rock theatrics. As they create a good old fashioned sounding doom metal song. Sure, there are strands of heavy psychedelic stoner rock appearing within the song but it's the not-so-subtle doomier vibes that hold your attention. I would have loved to hear the band play this style of music more on the album. Maybe next time....

Turning Electric is a superb album from Spectral Haze and it's one that offers genuine moments of true excitement within the Doom/Stoner Metal world.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Claire at Purple Sage PR for the promo. Turning Electric will be available to buy via Totem Cat Records on CD/DD/Vinyl from October 20th 2017.

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