So wonderful to hear all of these new, experimental black metal groups that get the kvlt middle finger right while still exploring new territories. SPEKTR is a BM duo from France, the land of the avantgarde elite. This is actually their 4th studio album, but despite my usual tardiness, I feel like I have known these dark figures all my life. Like Dendritic Arbor's
Romantic Love, and perhaps a bit of Leviathan's latest album, The Art to Disappear knows how to package some truly vile, mind-contorting stuff into an oddly listenable experience.
Take the dense, deliberate, distorted guitars and spot-on sampling placement of industrial and How To Basic that stuff with some ambient and the aforementioned Dendritic Arbor; the end result will be SPEKTR. You never know just what to expect. Songs will start off with those shrill blackened tremolos and minor chords we have known and loved since the early days of Gorgoroth and Immortal. But at the drop of a hat we'll either get a pace change a la Norse, or be left completely adrift in a limbo of Twin Peaks audio samples and electronic warbling somewhere between ambient, house music, and early dubstep. "From the Terrifying to the Fascinating" is a perfect (and perfectly-titled) example.
What is even more impressive to me, though, is that I was so wrapped up in the amazingly-crafted madness of it all that it took me two listens to realize that this is an instrumental album...and a third to confirm the idea to my skeptical mind. Between all of the complex and layered noise, guitar noodling, and otherwise expert songwriting; this simply feels like I have been hearing vocals. I don't know how else to explain it other than for you to experience it for yourself. The Art to Disappear simply does not feel like an instrumental album. Just check out the alternating crunchiness and foreboding gaps in "That Day Will Definitely Come" and tell me this is something you have heard before.
And so it seems that 2016 is already shaping up to be a at least, if not more, impressive year for black metal and experimental fusions than 2015. SPEKTR knocked it out of the park on this one, and I am thrilled with how craftily these Frenchmen have slapped a Miller Lite label on a Guinness. It's something that shouldn't be enjoyable to a mass audience, and yet something about it is so compelling and inviting. And that closing 11 minute track? Spellbinding. Check out the stream below and be sure to BUY this album right now. You won't regret it.