Thursday 5 October 2023

Restless Spirit - Afteriimage (Album Review)

Release Date: October 06th 2023. Record Label: Magnetic Eye Records. Formats: CD/DD/Vinyl

Afterimage - Tracklisting


Shadow Command

Of Spirit And Form

All Furies


The Fatalist

Hell's Grasp

From The Dust Returned


Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metallers Restless Spirit returns stronger and better than ever with their epic sounding third album Afterimage. Channelling the progressive sounds of Mastodon they mastered on their acclaimed 2021 album Blood Of The Old Gods but with a more primal Doom Metal sound whilst still maintaining their Psychedelic Spaced Out swagger which builds upto aggressive levels of Stoner Metal AMPLIFIER distortion.

Opening song Marrow sees Restless Spirit deliver their music with a shorter and bombastic style of sound with a turbo-charged Speed Rock/Metal approach whilst not losing any of their trademark Psychedelic heaviness. There's a subtle FUZZ groove that's the sound that I wanted THE SWORD to continue playing before they went too Radio Friendly for my liking. I always appreciate THIN LIZZY classic sounding guitars being added to the album and Restless Spirit do this here but also with THE OBSESSED rebellious STONER energy which makes great sense for one of the albums later and standout tracks. 

Second song Shadow Command is one of the catchiest, heaviest and most aggressive sounding tracks I've heard Restless Spirit deliver to date. The music continues with the Psychedelic Doomed Out Sound with regular outbursts with SONIC based heavy metal vocals. Restless Spirit offset this with sublime clean vocals and one of the catchiest choruses contained within the album. The song retains a sense of apocalyptic urgency and thrilling down-tuned fast-paced Spaced Out guitars with an intense rhythm section. Add a subtle Post-Doom or Post-Stoner energy that feels like a heavier version of King Buffalo in places. Watch out for the epic sounding instrumental solos where sludgy guitars come from every angle with first rate vocals that allows this to be my favourite track on the entire album.

Third song Of Spirit And Form opts for a Thrashier approach whilst keeping the melodic Psychedelic Sludgy grooves intact. Restless Spirit adds moments of highly inspired Screeching guitar solos. The music has a more primal sound with Restless Spirit continuing to keep their trademark sound unchanged whilst merging it with different Psychedelic and Ambient themes. The vocals are impressive yet again with more first rate lyrics that draws the listener into Restless Spirit's highly destructive but equally addictive world. 

Fourth Song All Furies is more of a Punk fuelled track with Restless Spirit operating with a "LESS IS MORE" artistic vision with stripped back production values. The music is constantly heavy but it's less progressive and psychedelic compared to the other tracks on the album. Though, the almost never-ending style of Punk-ish guitars has a deep love and influence for WINO and The Obsessed once more. Throw in Atmospheric Sludge guitars with perhaps the right amount of over-reliance of classic 1980's Heavy Metal instrumental solos for a track that never outstays its welcome.

The next two tracks of Brutalized and The Fatalist is a mixture of that Punk Rock and down-tuned Spaced Out vision that sounds quite differently to their last album but Restless Spirit still focus on delivering their blend of Psychedelic Sludge/Stoner riffage with real world-building creative attitude with perhaps The Fatalist having the best vocal arrangements on the whole album. The band is also helped on this album by Doom Metal Legend Scott "WINO" Weinrich on this album who plays guitars on the album. This is perhaps a dream come true for the band but mostly lead singer/guitarist Paul Aloisio who declares he's still "freaking out" by playing with one of his musical heroes and inspirations. This is another standout track on the album where WINO still proves he can still show the newer generation of Stoner Metal bands how to play a riff that only he can ultimately deliver.

The final two tracks of Hell's Grasp and From The Dust Returned doesn't change in the way of musical or creative direction but still throws up some highly original sonic based progressive groove and cool sounding vocal harmonies that appear on Hell's Grasp which show Restless Spirit in a different way in places.

Afterimage is Restless Spirit's most definitive, outstanding and technically impressive album to date that allows this to be another AOTY contender from the band who have the potential to become breakout stars within the underground scene and perhaps be on the same career path as King Buffalo have achieved recently. 

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to All Noir PR and Magnetic Eye Records for the promo.

Afterimage will be available to buy on CD/DD/Vinyl via Magnetic Eye Records from October 06th 2023 via the links below:



Official | Facebook | BandCamp | Instagram | Twitter