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Spiral Shades : Hypnosis Sessions

If you hear this record, then it would be inconceivable to think that word-of-mouth won’t make Spiral Shades the next trad Doom “It” band.

As I sat down to punch up this review, I made a vow that I was going to spare myself (as well as you the reader) all of the eloquence and verbosity that music reviewers acquire though the aid of Thesaurus.com. No, I wasn’t going to puff this review up because there is just no need to. Rather, I will reduce my crafty writing down to the lowest common denominator and sum this entire record up using classically vulgar American brevity… THIS THING FUCKING RULES!

Ladies and germs, Spiral Shades have written THE Doom Metal record of the year… and then some. Moreover, the next time any respectable publication or website compiles a top 50 Doom Metal records of all time, this thing better place somewhere in the top 20 if the standards of credibility are upheld. (Note to the editor-in-chief: Please lock this record in as Doom-Metal.com’s Album of the Year, despite its Demo ranking, or I quit in the name of music-journalism integrity!)

Spiral Shades is the project of Norwegian guitarist/bassist Flip Petersen and vocalist/lyricist Khushal R. Bhadra by way of Mumbai, India. Evidently, Petersen records guitar and bass over programmed drums from Norway, to which Bhadra then records vocals over in India. For intent and purpose, 'Hypnosis Session's is a demo. However, clocking in at just under an hour with a nine-song track list of solid material from front to back, Spiral Shades may be selling this recorded tour de force a bit short by giving it “Demo” status. In reality, this record is a full length exhibition of healthy Sabbath worship the likes of which have probably not been seen since Sleep’s 'Holy Mountain'. In fact, there are moments in 'Hypnosis Sessions 'where you almost feel like you are listening to some lost Black Sabbath record that has never been disinterred and coming to discover that this lost joint just happens to be the sickest thing the Ozzy band has ever done.

From the album’s opener “Frustration” with its grimy wailing guitar intro over a strutting bluesy swing, to the folky instrumental “Fading Sunlight” there isn’t a single piece of deadwood that should be cut off of this traditional Doom masterpiece. This “Demo” is nothing but rising action from start to finish, never reaching a plateau nor relenting in its assault. Petersen is a riff-machine, churning them out one after another for the benefit of Bhadra’s vocals that invoke a young Ozzy with every nuanced howl. As for the drumming, one could never be able to guess that they were generated through a computer program, sounding as organic as a sparkling Ludwig 4 piece from the ‘60s.

Quite frankly, this is an instant classic that needs to be pressed on vinyl and released through a label so that it can be officially canonized as such. It would be justifiable if at this time the offers to press this gem aren’t pouring in, lest this masterpiece fall to the wayside as one of ‘the greatest albums never heard’. I don’t think that this will be the case with 'Hypnosis Sessions'. If you’ve heard this record, then it would be inconceivable to think that word-of-mouth won’t make Spiral Shades the next Stoner-ish trad Doom “It” band.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Frustration
2. Illuminati
3. Grim Rituals
4. Fear
5. Wizardry
6. The Slowing Deep
7. Abstract Illusions
8. Torment
9. Fading Sunlight

Duration : Approx. 54 minutes

Visit the Spiral Shades bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-09-18 by Frank Lopez
Aesthetic Death
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