No time like the present, no living in the past
The day has come that the mighty Spirit Division from Indianapolis, Indiana has put out their third, and greatest full length effort, Forgotten Planet. The trio focuses heavily on the doom metal backbone, riding along the line of traditional styles, and newer innovations that also teeter with stoner aspects. Though this is the basis of all of the track building, other traces can be found within, intentional or not. I actually caught glimpses of hardcore in “River Rising”, seeing that the main riff is super slow, fuzzy, and chuggy, as well as dropped lower than the pits of Hell. This doesn’t remain of course, as speed and intensity picks up. And this track is a perfect representative of the whole album, since it contains a little of everything, even bluesy breaks.
When all of these additives are stripped away, you’re left with some of the heaviest basslines and doom riffs that combine strength and speed. In fact, the bass takes almost as much precedence as the guitars at certain points, making this a very strong album rhythmically. Composition wise, it’s definitely Sabbathy, but it also finds its way into the territory of Helmet regarding tones. Another band that comes to mind is Whores., but not nearly as noisy. Plus, that’s generally the speedier songs. “The Light That Shines” definitely has some of the most unique instrument layouts, as many times the bass will guide the guitar into the work, backed by thunderous drumming, played at a ferocious pace no matter which route the guitars take. Not to mention, this song also has one of the strongest guitar solos. It manages to create such vibrance in a small amount of time and isn’t too fret happy. Softer tapping and cleaner notes come through to create a warmer vibe here and there, most notably on “Half-Hearted”. So there’s a lot to get from this.
Like everything else, the vocals are borrowed from classic styles as well as newer ones. I wouldn’t call this traditional doom singing, as it has a lot of operatic feels to it and shifts between deeper grittiness and higher notes with a bit more passion. However, the way that it’s worked into the mix just screams Candlemass. For the most part, they also avoid speed, making for many drawn out notes that are great for building up suspense backed by drum beats that almost sound ritualistic. The consistencies of this album lie within the riff layout and vocal patterns, the inconsistencies lie within the construction tactics. The hints of hardcore, the bluesy sprinkles, and the oh so slight drops of harshness. Oh, and a friend of mine said that “Behemoth” sounded like “doom metal Barry White”, so there’s that too. Did I mention there’s also a very charming cover of Black Sabbath‘s “Solitude”?
From start to finish, Forgotten Planet certainly feels like a void of emptiness in the sense of visual imprints, but carries a vast amount of weight in the department of conception. It’s very much a mood driven album, and has some odd mixes here and there, but other than that it’s spectacular! It sounds exactly how the album cover looks, if that makes sense. Highly recommended to fans of Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Whores., Helmet, and Kyuss.