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Spiral: The Traveler

Having sampled and been hugely impressed by the most recent Spiral offering Mind Trip In A Minor, I have been taking a slow, doom laden, progressive journey though their back catalogue. A catalogue which has amassed an amazing seven albums and nine singles in four years.

Released earlier in 2012, The Traveler follows a similar path to that which Mind Trip... would go on to expand upon, with slow, drudge like passages offering the briefest shimmers of light to keep you transfixed. Almost hypnotic in execution, "The Giant Red Star", introduces the second instalment of a two part story begun on The Capital In Ruins album, which tells the sad tale of a person watching The Earth consumed by the exploding sun. An event which leaves him alone and on a journey of realisation, solitude and ultimately something bordering on madness. A depressing tale yes, but one played out through thought provoking lyrics and music almost capable of telling the story without the words. The band themselves are basically a duo of Aaron Frale, who plays guitars and helps provides the multi-character vocals, alongside Chris Boat who also sings and plays guitar, as well as keyboard and bass.

There's no denying that this four part hour long voyage through loss, enlightenment and despair can initially be tough going. However engage with The Traveler for long periods of time and the bright, shining intro to "An Epiphany Near Vega 9", or the varied tempos, beats and attacks of "The Caves Of Anamnesis" are amazingly multi-layered and rewarding. It is deep stuff and unrelenting in its ever evolving shades of darkness, however the skill is in adding mesmerizing keyboard patterns, drum breaks and guitar bursts which lift the intentional gloom long enough for a quick breath, before diving headlong into the darkness once more. The results being more than enough to satisfy broader minded followers of progressive music and doom, without quite being either.

One excellent album in a year is more than most bands achieve, two however is plain showing off. Spiral are showing off, but I'm not complaining!

Track Listing
1. The Red Giant Stirs
2. An Epiphany Near Vega 9
3. The Caves Of Anamnesis
4. R.I.P. Rip

Added: December 13th 2012
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Spiral at BandCamp
Hits: 1636
Language: english

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