Metal To Infinity

Stormspell Records is the ultimate, American based record label delivering unique US Metal to the masses throughout many years. Great point to me is that this record company has a heart for 80s / early nineties Metal mainly – better take a good look at all the brilliant stuff they’ve brought out on CD so far right HERE. Discovering all those US Metal treasures on CD through Stormspell Records makes me feel like reborn again – next release unleashed through this  American label calls Spectral Incursion.  

Started by the name Graven Image (originating from Haverhill, Massachusetts USA) but due to there were two ore outfits wearing the same name, they changed name into Spectral Incursion – sounds sophisticated or complicated and actually that is what SI is all about! Following the US Metal movement since the very early eighties, I only can mention a few names playing their game like Graven Image / Spectral Incursion did back then. In 1987, Graven Image recorded a ten-song demo but to be honest – I never heard one single note coming from this cassette… shame on me! I still remember that back in the 80s a friend of mine told me to check out a band called Spectral Incursion. I asked around within the list of my own tape trading contact list and came in touch with some of their songs. Spectral Incursion didn’t sound like many other US Metal acts – they were unique and very hard to find those days. Never thought to hear these guys’ music back after such a long time… again, thanks to Stormspell Records who just brought out all the Spectral Incursion outputs on a double CD including a very professional booklet, unfortunately I can’t say the same about the cover art. 

CD1 contains the demo entitled “Nowhere Fast”, originally released in 1988. These four songs have a very good production to enjoy and about the music you have to be open minded to swallow this type of US Metal immediately. Rob Tadiello sings very clear with a serious high pitch approach. The structure of each one of the tracks are unique, even quite complicated which keeps my attention up high. Expect the unexpected is the only way to describe Spectral Incursion’s name of the game. I can deal with their sound and especially Steve Lyttle’s way of guitar picking speaks to my imagination really! He plays so pure and with a lot of technical skills – no time for technological effects during the late 80s, I really adore this way of shred guitar tactics!   

What follows on the “Antholoy” DCD is Spectral Incursion’s self titled EP loaded with four songs and released in 1989. Here you will hear another frontman named Arthur Melonas who has a totally different manner of singing basically. He’s participating on each one of the songs adding to this entire double CD – if Arthur didn’t took the vocals for his account, he was in charge for all bass guitar works, a duty he did with elegance. Return to his vocal deliveries, he doesn’t sound that clear or high pitched minded as Rob Tadiello – the other singer in the band remember? The sound quality of the songs are still very acceptable just as I’d like to say on the musical direction – still very original / unique… damn, they keep on surprising me mainly because of the one who delivers the guitar works, Mr. Steve Lyttle. Why the band never took the option to ad a second guitarist to the ranks stays a riddle to me. It’s obviously that Steve was (by force of circumstance) the chosen one to handle both riffing and solo moves. Based on that point you will hear a so called hole into the sound as soon as the riffs have to take place for the solo’s.  

But this first part of the“Anthology” double CD has more to offer people – watch out for Spectral Incursions’ second demo entitled “Middle Of Nowhere” (1991) and “Graven Image” featuring re-recorded versions (2010) of some of the songs taken from their 1986 demo when they were calling Graven Image. If you want to know all about the original versions of these tracks you have to play CD 2. Push the play button and be one with the unique, arcane way of US Metal offered by a band called Graven Image, later on they went on by the name Spectral Incursion. Make notice of the fact you will also find back a multi-media section featuring twelve video clips to be described as pure US Metal nostalgia. 

Afterwards hearing the entire “Anthology” product I can’t say to be disappointed because I'm not at all! At the other hand, Graven Image / Spectral Incursion brings me in a state of total euphoria as well – It was a pleasure to hear their unique way of US Metal… original to the bone as they were back then. Other acts crosses my mind while listening are Wachtower, Confessor, Anacrusis, Damien Steele, Cyrith Ungol, Tyton, Slauter Xstroyes, Sieges Even, Black Task among others. Order possibilities through: http://www.stormspell.com/label/  

My Points: 83 / 100 (Review by Stefan)