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Spirit Descent : Seven Chapters in A Minor

Spirit Descent's music is a curious example of people from one musical mindset making music in a different style.

A little over a decade ago, I worked in the electronics department of a big-name retail store. That exposed me to a promotional video which included a clip from then-up-and-coming R&B star Alicia Keys, who was getting a lot of attention for her debut Songs in A Minor. Grammar freak that I am, I could never get over that title, reading the "A" as an article and "Minor" as an adjective describing a non-existent noun. "In a minor what?" my brain instinctively screams. Obviously, it actually means they are in the key of A minor, but syntax is embedded deeply in the way my brain works.

The title of Seven Chapters in A Minor drives me just as insane. But other than my weird hangups/neuroses, it has only the key in common with the R&B album. The sophomore release of German doomsters Spirit Descent probably won't be featured on the promotional videos at the big-box retailers any time soon.

The music is a curious example of people from one musical mindset making music in a different style. On a superficial level, it's down-tuned epic doom metal. In keeping with epic doom traditions, the vocals are mostly clean: A straight-forward clean style for the first part of the album and a less-voiced clean style for the latter part. There are also a few falsettos. But the occasional growl is a clue that the people writing the music aren't coming from an epic doom background.

Instead, many of the riffs and melodies seem to be influenced by death/doom, especially early My Dying Bride. This is a strong undercurrent throughout the album, beginning at opener "Dawn of Mankind," but it's perhaps most obvious during the spoken-word portion of "The Tragedy of Captain Scott." There are also more modern inflections, like dissonant atmospheric parts. And the strong, heavy, natural production serves the sound well.

As awesome as that would be, Spirit Descent won't be tearing down dozens of TV sets at your local store. But their annoyingly-titled album is a nice blend of death/doom-inspired epic doom, likely to please fans of either style.


Check out http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/ for more metal reviews and commentary from Kelly Hoffart aka Full Metal Attorney.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Dawn of Mankind
2. Owner of the Fifty Names
3. The Tragedy of Captain Scott
4. Alternating Reality
5. Sleeper
6. Love Turned to Stone
7. Lamentations of the Unborn

Duration : Approx. 58 minutes

Visit the Spirit Descent bandpage.

Reviewed on 2012-03-22 by Kelly Hoffart
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