Review by Brian on November 26, 2014.
Finland has always seemed to generate some of the best bands that metal has to offer. These Finnish bands have a real knack for being diverse. Latest export Spiralism is no exception. On their debut LP Chakras, Spiralism mixes heavy psychedelic, post rock with progressive sensibility. They also sprinkle in some doom and stoner moments. While melding these different styles, they succeeds where many fail, by managing to keep everything cohesive. A perfect example of this is "Weighing of the Heart". It begins with a post rock vibe, which draws similarities to Isis, as it builds to a pummeling riff accompanied by a thundering bass and harsh vocals. It transitions seamlessly into a psychedelia that sounds like Oranssi Pazuzu's less black metal moments mixed with Pink Floyd. It then moves into a stoner riff before slipping into a sludged out almost death metal feel, finally ending with that stoner vibe.
Is your head spinning? Are you wondering how this could work? To answer that in one word, beautifully. Spiralism implores the listener to open their mind and give full attention to what they are experiencing. This is intelligent music made by intelligent musicians, but without the downfall of being pretentious. It's amazing how they keep the album flowing and make it feel like a concept album, still managing to have each track stand alone. From the start you know you are hearing something special. Opening track "Drowning High" has elements of Red Sparowes, God is an Astronaut, Orange Goblin and Woods of Ypres, but the whole time giving you something fresh, something that is 100% Spiralism. Clocking in at 12 minutes, they know how to keep the listener interested. They can also impress with a shorter, more straight forward song like the Fates Warning-ish "Sophia". Clocking in at just under 5 minutes it's the shortest song on the album, but packs a big wallop.
Chakras is the unexpected surprise I've been waiting for. This is a very good debut. It flows throughout it's 7 tracks, displaying some improvisational elements, making me wonder if the band went into the studio with some loose ideas and developed them into the songs presented here. Each song is crafted brilliantly and executed to near perfection. This is a band that I will be keeping my eyes on for years to come. Open up your energy centers and let Spiralism heal all that ails you.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10