Release DetailsLABEL Sensory
RELEASED ON 8/22/2006
posted on 1/2007 By:
Spiritual is a German, one-man-band that benefits from the originator not being afraid to let plenty of guest musicians help out. Stefan Hertrich (former vocalist of Darkseed) is the primary arranger of these eight songs, contributing voice, guitars, bass, and sampling. Also joining in is Yana Veva, a Russian lady with a very ethnic, enchanting way of singing. I’m thinking it’s an Indian sound, but I’m the wrong guy to ask. In addition, there are flutes, tropical sounds, and a host of other atmospherics that serve as a counterpoint to harsh death metal rasping and very down-tuned riffing. When combining all of these distinct sounds, it is important to have suitable production, and seeing as how Stefan has his own studio, Pulse is mixed well.
Their heavier moments have almost an industrial cadence, and a comparison to Atrocity’s recent album wouldn’t be out of place. There are multiple layers to their harder moments, with the flutes jumping in an out, backing ambient singing or upfront barking, solo guitaring over a steady and precise rhythm section. But he always comes back to the sparse ethnic sounds, usually light vocals over programmed atmosphere. Case in point is the title track, which proceeds like a wave, from heavy, to relaxed, heavy to relaxed… “Symphony of Life” is another well-formed song, balancing all of his influences. In total, about half of the album incorporates the metal elements, with another few songs that are purely soft and ethereal. This isn’t a criticism of the band, as his mellow songs are good in their own way, but on a metal reviewing site, this must be brought to light.
The important thing to ask yourself before ordering an album like Pulse is how much of an appetite you have for atmospheric and ambient passages. If you’ve just got to have crunch, well there’s about a short EP’s worth of metal on here. But viewed as a whole project, Spiritual is successful in formulating the musical vision that Hertrich had envisioned.
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