As I type this, Spirit Division are currently playing their final show. Following their newest record Forgotten Planet, they’ve decided to follow up with a bunch of shows, and then call it quits on a high note. That cracked my top twenty albums of the year. Another record that they served up roughly two years prior was No Rapture, which took a very different approach. Though doom metal is still obviously what they stuck to with both records, this album isn’t quite as accessible, and would take a stronger fascination with doom to enjoy it a lot.
For starters, rather having Chris Latta completely take over frontman duties, the vocals are shared with guitarist Stephen Hoffman. This gives the singing more of an echo, which still comes through very smoothly, but it creates quite a unique delivery. Moreover, there’s a lot more fuzz and buzz with this one, thickening the atmosphere to the weight of Venus’s sky. This in turn gives a more unsettling feeling, capturing a darker tone which ultimately cuts away some of the hooks and makes it harder to get into.
On the other hand, this record is very focused and isn’t quite as all over the place in influences as the next one. It’s a shorter disc too, which makes it easy to stay into for the whole run once you’ve gotten past some of the stoner-like walls. “When The Sun Explodes” is a fantastic example, providing the sharpest of all riffs and steadiest vocal patterns, combining the clear and rough parts of the album together into one track. Plus, the chorus is actually catchy, despite what I’ve been saying.
At the bottom of this album, you’ll find “Wendigo”, which is the closest match to what was to come for the band. I don’t know if this was a purposeful hint in direction or if it was a coincidence, but this is another one of my favorites. For those seeking a rocky ride of doom riffs and booming kicks that doesn’t overstay its welcome, No Rapture should be right up your alley.
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