Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S



Spektr
Near Death Experience

Company: Candlelight Records
Release: 2006
Reviewer: Etiam
Genre: Black
Rating
3



  • A rather challenging trip as a result, even for a hardened member of the horde



  • Spektr just might be Candlelight Record's grimmest signing. And that is indeed saying something, considering the competition they face: Averse Sefira, 1349, Absu, and Blut Aus Nord, without even getting past the second letter of the alphabet. Hailing from France, the present bastion of black metal innovation, this duo explore the substrata of the human psyche with sardonic enthusiasm by enmeshing black ambient, noise, vocal sampling, and dissonant black metal on 'Near Death Experience'. The two members have given themselves obscure consonant-monikers (Hth, kl.K), claiming their identities to be irrelevant to the nature of their work, which ostensibly endeavors to connect living flesh to a negative vortex of malevolence and decay. Their terminology is a little more quasi-metaphysical, but the idea is essentially the same.

    Understandably, this mindset doesn't lend itself well to audience empathy, and 'Near Death Experience' is a rather challenging trip as a result, even for a hardened member of the horde. Spektr aren't the most violent or deliberately nauseating group in the genre; the challenge here is to maintain enough focus to actually follow and grasp the proceedings when content itself is so aloof.

    Perhaps the best way to do this is to focus on the drums, for rarely are black metal bands so distinguished through their percussion. Certainly, drummers in this genre contribute to their bands' sound, a few essentially embody it (Hellhammer, for one), but most often in black metal the drums are more complementary than integral. For Spektr, this relationship is all but reversed. kl.K's performance (as well as the production) exists in a completely different galaxy than does Hellhammer, but kl.K does seem to share in the ability to take charge of an album and given it direction. He sketches out simple beats and then jumbles them toegether in a fractured string of patterns that only makes sense in its nonsense. Traditional black metal snare abuse would be atypically orthodox for Spektr, so he instead favors his cymbals more than his snare, using the latter more as an accent than a centerpiece, and even turns to the classic hi-hat jazz syncopation for a couple tracks (which are generally the best). Altogether, it adds a weirdly intriguing dynamic to the high-treble, diminished riffing of Hth that is straightforward in comparison.

    This approach makes up the greater part of the album, but only around half the tracks. The rest are devoted to ambient interludes--more engaging and textured than the usual--that introduce a greater dynamic to the album and prevent it from becoming too monotonous. On their own they aren't especially intriguing, but in the context of the album (which is indeed the sort that is best heard altogether) they are appropriate.

    Ultimately, 'Near Death Experience' is a well-titled release, though not in the sense that it is the offending force, so to speak. Rather, this album is more a snapshot of how such an episode might affect someone. The maelstrom of passions, endorphins, and memories that are instantaneously aroused and just as quickly dispelled are laid out piece by agonizing piece for our contemplation. Admittedly, the individual in question must have lived a wretched life to inspire this relentless a misery, but the experiment is a worthwhile one nonetheless.


    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



    ALL FULL REVIEWS FOR: SPEKTR
    CD
    TITLE BAND
    DOR
    REVIEWER DATE
    Near Death ExperienceSpektr
    2006
    Etiam4/25/2008


    ALL SUMMARY REVIEWS FOR: SPEKTR

    No Summary reviews currently exist for them.


    ALL INTERVIEWS FOR: SPEKTR
    INTERVIEW BAND INTERVIEWER DATE


    YOU MAY ALSO LIKE THESE BLACK STYLED RELEASES:


    << back >>






    ERIC COMPTON PICKS
    Sea
    Sea
    Mob Rules
    Radical Peace
    Devilment
    II-The Mephisto Waltzes
    Loudness
    2.0.1.2
    Helstar
    This Wicked Nest

    GREG WATSON PICKS
    Texas in July
    Bloodwork
    Miss May I
    Deathless
    Armageddon
    Captivity and Devourment
    Cradle of Filth
    Hammer of the Witches
    Ashes of Ares
    Ashes of Ares

    FRANK HILL PICKS
    Overkill
    The Grinding Wheel
    Crimson Shadows
    Kings Among Men
    Lemmy
    Lemmy DVD
    Monster Truck
    Sittin' Heavy
    Gentlemens Pistols
    S/T

    DAVID LOVELESS PICKS
    Marduk
    Frontschwein
    Ulcerate
    The Destroyers Of All
    Blood of the Black Owl
    S/T
    Sepultura
    Machine Messiah
    Fen
    Winter