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Of Spire & Throne : Penance

Scottish Prog/Sludge band Of Spire & Throne deliver a suffocating beast of an album with this great sophomore full-length.

Edinburghís progressive sludge/doom band Of Spire & Throne return with the hard-hitting 'Penance'. They have behind them three EPs, a split, and their last album 'Sanctum in the Light'. Their previous album showed how versatile the band has become and their latest offering shows us that they are still evolving. Darker and darker we fall into the world Of Spire & Throne.

'From Dust' opens to slimy sludgy guitars. A fuzz of deep pounding misery that clings to you. Ali Lauder provides us with guitars and vocals, whilst Joe Turner on bass and Graham Stewart on drums give the band the overwhelming heaviness that adds to the dark atmosphere they create. Itís crushing and straight in your face and a great opener. There is definitely something about this organic swamp-like sound. Drums are everywhere, toms beating down a super punchy heavy rhythm.

'Reliquary' starts off at a stabbing rhythm where Ali Lauderís growls grow from some torturous pit in his stomach. It has an almost Esoteric feel to it. He stretches them right out over pounding riffs. Itís pretty relentless and the vocals really take charge here from low growls to screams your ears are subjected to all kinds of frequencies within the vocal range. The last few minutes of this is pure carnage. A look into a madman's mind comes to the forefront. Iím heading for a straitjacket after the twelve minutes that is 'Reliquary'!

'Their Shadow Cast', at fourteen minutes, is yet another huge beast. Again the pulsating riffs coax us in, booming bass penetrates our hearts from Joe. The fuzz is never overwhelming and you can hear enough separation and melodies to keep you glued to the songs. I think we can find elements of other bands in the guitar work but never enough to say this is not their own style.

'The Sorcerer' is atmospheric, dark and beautiful at the same time. After all the hard hitting numbers this is a nice breather to soak everything in. Hardly any lyrics within this song, I think that it suits it perfectly and the drums and vocals donít come in way past the half way mark. 'In The Wake' and 'Dissident' close the album. Itís like a small chisel that constantly hammers away at you, getting deeper and deeper until it becomes unbearable. Drowning in over an hour of sludge is hard work when itís as captivating as this. You are either a big fan of this style of music, or not, and itís not for everyoneís taste. Gladly Iím very happy to be sucked down into this blackness and find myself picking through the bones of past releases and forming a new relationship with this band. Great release.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. From Dust
2. Reliquary
3. Their Shadow Cast
4. Sorcerer
5. In The Wake
6. Dissident

Duration : Approx. 63 minutes

Visit the Of Spire & Throne bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-04-08 by Riccardo Veronese
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