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Spirits of the Dead

Rumours of a Presence

Spirits of the Dead
7
With their third record, Rumours of a Presence, Norway's classic proto-metal/stoner band, Spirits of the Dead, firmly anchor their aesthetic in the deep, fat niche of very early '70s hard rock. Combining songwriting elements of still-in-utero doom, psychedelia and progressive rock with a distinctly contemporary, sludgy stoner tone, Rumours of a Presence is a very retro-sounding record, in terms of how it's written with modern production values. Opener "Wheels of the World" possesses a driving lead riff that would have sounded completely natural in Iommi's hands, while "Song of Many Reefs" has a big, urgent, insistent production style that recalls Queens of the Stone Age or a contemporary Alice in Chains. There's also some great variety to the songwriting, with "Red Death" coming closest to an early doom, Sabbath-esque sound, while "Oceanus" conjures a folkier vibe and "Seaweed" follows a deep, liquid, progressive structure. This is an excellent record for the hottest, laziest part of the summer, with just enough of a sepia tone to let some idealized, smoky retro light filter in.
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