SPIRIT WEB - SPIRIT WEB
Metal To Infinity
There are still plenty of
‘classic ones’ waiting for a review. Once in a while I have this need to
spread words about a band that deserves to be placed in the spotlights, even
many years after their disbanding. And yes, bands like Iron Maiden, Metallica,
Slayer etc. easily wrote themselves into our specific topic but too many other (read:
unknown) albums belong to be
mentioned too. Next in line is Spirit Web, a US Power Metal band from Chicago.
In 2000 Stentorian Records released this album, in 2002 it was re-released by
the Belgian Mausoleum Records.
The band rose out of the
ashes from a band called Syris. Both of their albums were well respected in the
underground world of the US Metal fanatics but I’m convinced the big crowd has
never heard of them. A disgrace… but that seems to be the destiny of
most US Metal bands! Brent Sullivan makes the link with Slauter Xstroyes and
Winterkill, drummer Tony Rios was a member of Winterkill too.
This re-release doesn’t
own a beautiful nor an ‘eye catching’ front cover. Nevertheless it attracted
me when it was just released and only a few notes were necessary to convince me
buying it. Ever since it makes its spins once in
a while, when I’m in the right mood for it. The mysterious intro,
played by some kind of organ, leads me into the right atmosphere! The band takes
off with some progressive powerful arrangements with interesting riffs and
difficult played drums. During the entire CD I’m amamazed by the talent of
these Americans. The way this kind of riffs are played, the strong and
sophisticated bass lines and the a-typical- super technical -
drum sessions are beyond belief. Scott Huffman (Syris, Twelfth Gate,
Mindwarp Chamber) owns an amazing voice. I can easily say it is some kind of
mixture between Bruce Dickinson, James Rivera and Warrel Dane. It makes him
become one of my favorite singers! His typical timbre, his strong lungs and the
way he performs the vocal lines are outstanding.
The vocal lines on the very first track, “Ghostly Chill”, are distinguished
and will convince the listener at once! In choruses and refrains this statement
counts for the entire CD!
The band received their
goal to play recognizable tracks although this kind of music is very technical
and sophisticated. Scott Huffman’s vocal lines makes me sing along, not in
particular logical for a Progressive band! Yes, dark, Progressive and Powerful!
In vein of the very first Dream Theater or the early Watchtower – musical wise,
with the magnetism and power of Helstar or Liege Lord, with the dark atmosphere
of early releases from bands like Iced Earth or Psychotic Waltz…. To be honest
Spirit Web isn’t easy to label, it is even more difficult to compare them with
other bands but often it is the only way to convince readers checking a band
out. In some of the guitar session, either it is in a solo or in an acoustic
intermezzo (for example in “Cut You Loose”), cold shivers will make part of
you. Along with the wide ranged vocal capabilities of Scott Huffman the listener
will become quiet and calm. The music of Spirit Web is so impressive I can’t
believe the listener will bang his head at once, instead he will stay speechless!
And the bands goes on
delivering one after another first class Metal song! “Osiris Be Thy Judge”
for example, what a mighty track! The guitars in the beginning, the take off
with double bass drums and superb riffs. The fact the band uses so many breaks don’t bore me for a second, therefore Scott’s
refrains and choruses are too interesting! I could complain of the fact the band
didn’t use a second guitar player but I won’t!
Paul Speredes, a former member of Syris too, is therefore too
extraordinary. Not that he’s the fastest guitarist I have ever heard but the
way he pulls the strings and the original sound of his guitar makes me worship
this guy. Especially that typical sound makes Spirit Web so exciting and
“Foolish Hope” is
another track that will leave you speechless behind but my favorite song is
without any doubt “Once Beyond”. The intro but especially the middle part of
this particular song is spectacular, not comparable with anything I’ve heard
before after almost 28 years in Metal! Yes this means a lot and convinces me
even more that this release deserves a place in our ‘classic ones’! This
particular song ‘an sich’ makes it worth buying this gem!
To be honest this CD is
full of first rate dark US Progressive Power Metal. It isn’t that hard finding
this CD, it is still available on ebay and you might even find it in your local
Metal store. The original version contains another front cover, the re-release
contains two bonus tracks. To me it is the best Scott Huffman ever did and it
made me search for every album that contains his voice! This underrated vocalist
deserves much more respect, actually this Spirit Web release deserved much more support. Scott
Huffman left the band and Randy Barron replaced him. No matter how much I
respect Randy, he could never hook up with Scott and the second album couldn’t
compete with the debut. Spirit Web disbanded soon after and that’s a pity. In
the US Metal style, so beloved here at Metal To Infinity, this release is
labeled as a milestone in its style!
My Points: 95/100 (Review by Officer Nice)
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