Black Metal, Metal

Spectral Wound – A Diabolic Thirst (Review)

Band: Spectral Wound
Album: A Diabolic Thirst
Genre: Black Metal
Country: Canada
Release Date: 16th of April, 2021
Released via Profound Lore Records
Cover Artwork © Profound Lore Records

There has hardly been an album that the worldwide underground Black Metal community has looked forward to as eagerly as A Diabolic Thirst, the new and third album by the Canadian metallers Spectral Wound. Due to the strong quality of the two predecessors Terra Nullius and Infernal Decadence, the release announcement of a new long player of the combo has echoed loudly through the scene and has already generated quite a bit of attention in advance. Therefore, I really was very happy to be able to pick up the record on vinyl to talk about it after sheer several runs.

Already after the first attempt, I considered myself to have met the expectations that I had placed on A Diabolic Thirst in advance. Right from the start I enjoyed it immensely and was taken away by its mix of dark and icy as well as melancholic, depressive sounds. From time to time, Spectral Wound could inspire me even more and more and stayed in my head with a lot of musical highlights and their mercilessly thought-through songwriting. The mood you get here can be described as desperately gloomy and sheer hopeless and it’s exactly what you can expect to get from a Black Metal record these days.

At the same time, there are numerous catchy melodies as well as frosty and striking guitar playing. The riffing is partly constricting and drilling and scores in almost every single track with melodies that quickly burn into the brain and burst with recognition value. In combination with the incredibly aggressive drumming, the guitars give the sound a pleasant depth in which you can quickly lose yourself. Besides the blast beats, which are typical for the genre, there are also various midtempo parts to discover, whose transitions happen seamlessly and in which the drums sound just as brutal as in the fast passages. Occasionally you will find yourself in tones that sound like war drums and once again underpin and heighten the guitars and their malice.

The Black Metal that Spectral Wound present, with its suitably mixed lo-fi vibe, is reminiscent of the cold 90’s sound, but also mixed with a good pinch of individuality and various distinctive influences from the freezing sound of the well-known Canadian metal school. However, the production is quite authentic and well mixed despite a certain rawness. This is especially beneficial for the instrumentals, whose quality is nevertheless well staged and comes to the forefront. At last, A Diabolic Thirst is rounded off by some really great sounding fearsome vocals, which are mostly composed of shrill screams and spooky screeches and therefore fit perfectly with the gloomy and frozen atmosphere and the musical rest. Either way, the overall quality of this album is simply outstanding, which is mainly due to the strong and exciting song structures in my eyes, which ensures that you can enjoy the album as a whole in one piece just as much as individual songs in repeat or shuffle.

On April 16, the time had come and A Diabolic Thirst was physically released via mighty Profound Lore Records. The two vinyl versions were sold out almost immediately, especially the limited version. Those who went empty-handed can either buy the CD of the album or have to wait for a new pressing, which will surely come soon. Whether Spectral Wound will make the long player available on tape remains unknown for the time being. But it would have something charming to have A Diabolic Thirst on cassette, preferably dubbed with mono duplicators to capture the raw sound and remind even more of the 2nd wave Black Metal.

With A Diabolic Thirst, Spectral Wound have definitely released the best album of their so far and already high quality band history. This record takes the breath of the listener away from beginning to end with several musical highlights and provides goose bumps with its pure malice sounding Metal. A nightmare set to music, which you fall for incredibly quickly and which you no longer want to escape. Without a doubt one of the strongest Black Metal releases that has seen the light of day this year and certainly a clear Album Of The Year Contender for many fans of the genre. This album is pure fucking bitterness straight in your veins!

Favourite Tracks:
“Soul Destroying Black Debauchery”
“Mausoleal Drift”

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