Suspiral Delve 2016When I was younger, I remember pre-ordering Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete for the original PlayStation, back when it was announced at my local Babbage’s in the fall of 1996. It would be a full three years later before it was released. In that timeframe, I graduated from high school, worked at Babbage’s then-competitor (Electronics Boutique), quit acrimoniously from said competitor, went Straight-Edge very hard, got unnecessarily angry at life and everything around me, gave up being Straight-Edge very hard,1 and moved around the same town three times, yet I still had my eyes on the prize. When I got the game, it didn’t quite live up to the expectations despite all the delays. This story suggests I possess the patience of that unfortunate Bible character, Job. However, instead of being infected with sores and having my crops and family wiped out, I’m being subjected (by choice, mind you2) to a never-ending string of bloated albums. And with that, we have Spanish duo Suspiral and their debut album, Delve into the Mysteries of Transcendence.

With a lead-off like the preceding paragraph you’re probably thinking “This may not be promising.” You’re right. Thankfully, this is only a 33-minute album. Not so thankfully, it’s also only comprised of three songs, with the shortest still clocking in at over 10 minutes. Opening track “Poisonous Essence” is thirteen minutes of multiple-layered guitars by “M.S.” with a skill level varying from “basic riffing,” “whammy abuse” onto “you picked that note? REALLY?” while bassist “A.T.” moans, hisses, howls, and struggles to get his chosen instrument to be somewhat audible over the overwhelming din of his bandmate. They’ve also hired a drummer, “M.P.,” who can best be described as sloppy and inconsistent. Also, I counted about six different riffs and song ideas, and not a single one could be considered engaging or good. Not even the post-keyboard fake-out ending at 12:00 could salvage this, due to some pretty sloppy arpeggios.

While the other two songs are shorter, they’re unfortunately no better. Final track “Art of Death” is the most consistent in terms of quality riffs, but even then the song’s length (over 11 minutes) and the band’s desire to put layer upon impenetrable layer of guitars over everything hampers the song significantly. I’ve been seeing comparisons to Darkthrone and Celtic Frost thrown about online, but Delve lacks the swagger and attitude of the former, and the ability to rein things in a bit (and by “a bit,” I really mean a whole lot) of the latter. The Wall o’ Guitars isn’t effective if the riffs aren’t there.

Suspiral Band 2016

In terms of sound, just as you can have a loud album sound incredible, Delve succeeds in proving that you can have a dynamic record that sounds horrible. Bass is virtually non-existent, and the drums are buried beneath the tornado of guitars and cavernous vocals. But even with a better production job, the lack of focus and self-editing damns Delve to purgatory. Just because you can write a long song doesn’t mean you should. Fleshing out ideas is never a bad thing, and it will pay off in the long run in terms of repeated listens and a stronger fanbase.

When a listener spends a half-hour listening to an album that feels like a two-hour marathon, you’re doing it wrong. When you have songs reaching way beyond the ten-minute mark with no pay-off, again, you’re doing it wrong. Suspiral are a young act, so maybe the next go-around will be tighter, more concise, and somewhat memorable. In the meantime, I will find another means of transcendence.

 


Rating: 1.0/5.0
DR: 10 | Format Reviewed: 128 kbps mp3
Label: I, Voidhanger Records
Website: facebook.com/dawnofsuspiral
Release Dates: EU: 2016.03.11 | NA: 03.18.2016

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’m sure that was a story… – AMG
  2. I prefer to think of it as “for the greater good.” – AMG

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  • Diego Molero

    Since this is no good, could you recommend me some Celtic Frost albums? I always want to get into them but don’t know where to start.

    • Start with Morbid Tales for sure. That’s their best. To Mega Therion is also great. After that their catalog gets pretty weird and you may want to jump to Monotheist. Avoid Cold Lake at all costs!

      • Diego Molero

        That’s what I been told, they have some weird stuff, but I’m curious to hear some of that weird stuff

        • Then search Youtube for Cherry Orchards ;)

          • No, don’t do that!

          • Diego Molero

            I did, and that is not what I was expecting for sure. Kinda catchy though.

          • Dethjesta

            I couldn’t resist – Hair Metal :)

        • Try Into the Pandemonium. That’s plenty weird.

          • Diego Molero

            Will do. So, Morbid Tales, To Mega Therion, Into the Pandemonium, and if I like those 3, then Monotheist. Avoid Cold Lake. Thanks!

    • Wilhelm

      Morbid Tales, To Mega Therion, and Into the Pandemonium.

    • I never got any further than Monotheist, but then I only started listening to Celtic Frost after hearing Triptykon’s debut album. To me, Monotheist has a crushing sound & atmosphere, which the other CF albums lack.

    • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

      Morbid Tales, To Mega Therion, and Monotheist are all great. It depends on what you want. If you want what sounds like a better Triptykon, Monotheist is it. It’s also pretty “accessible” despite the dark/oppressive atmosphere because of the hooks. When people cite a Celtic Frost influence, it’s most likely that they’re referencing Morbid Tales, so definitely check that out. There’s a lot of riffs and it helps with understanding the genre’s history and evolution a bit IMO. To Mega Therion is necessary listening if you liked Morbid Tales and want it a touch darker. If you want more after that, check out Hellhammer for simple yet great riffing and Into the Pandemonium for a bunch more experiments, some of which fail.

      • Diego Molero

        Well to be honest I haven’t listened to Triptykon and Hellhammer either, Black Metal is a large genre and not my favorite really, but I’m trying to get more into it, so definitely will check all you said

    • Reese Burns

      My advice would be to start with Cold Lake. I guarantee you’ll appreciate their best albums more after hearing it, hah.

      • Diego Molero

        Hah! It’s that bad for real?

        • Reese Burns

          For real. listening to it is like watching a train derail in slow motion, it’s horrible, gruesome, and you’re not really sure if you’ll survive to see the end of it, but you just can’t look away.

          • Diego Molero

            Man now I kinda want to hear it just to see why is that bad.

          • Reese Burns

            Part of it is because people expected more of them, and it really does seem like a cynical rather than heartfelt album. It’s a pretty good example of how trend hopping can come back to bite a band in the arse. I wasn’t around when it was released, so it’s not like I had any buildup before listening to it, but just giving it a cursory listen was enough to know that it’s still pretty bad.

          • Diego Molero

            I did listened to one song of the álbum, Cherry Orchards, and was confused, because they are a Black Metal band (right?) and that song is everything but BM, so it was also a drastically change of sound at the time?

          • Reese Burns

            Yeah, they really came out of left field with that album, when I first heard it, I thought my friend was playing a joke on me and that it was a completely different band

          • Diego Molero

            I had the exact same thought when listening to that song!

          • Reese Burns

            In a way, it’s kinda funny, in a sick twisted way.

          • Celtic Frost wasn’t black metal. They were more like proto-death metal or something like early doom/death.

          • Diego Molero

            What is it even “proto-death”?

          • Music with similarities todeath metal that came before there really was death metal. The early roots of what would become eventually death. Kind of like Bathory was proto-black metal.

          • Diego Molero

            So one could say that for example Slayer was proto-death? Sub-genres are so confusing, I read that Celtic Frost was kind of like Black Metal, with some Thrash, Doom, Death and even Gothic

          • I would say Slayer’s early stuff was proto-thrash. I can see Celtic Frost being labeled black due to their look and lyric content but the music itself was closer to death or doom with some thrashy parts.

          • Diego Molero

            But didn’t bands like Death, Possessed and Morbid Angel were heavily influencial by Slayer early work?

          • Morbid Angel came along after Slayer already had several albums out and both Death and Possessed popped up after Slayer already had Show No Mercy out. If anything, they were likely influenced by Slayer to some extent.

          • Diego Molero

            Oh I see. Well I’m here to learn, thanks for the history lesson, master!

          • My pleasure!

      • Carlos Marrickvillian

        I like Cold Lake it’s no where near as bad as anyone says. In someways I think its one of their best albums.

        • Reese Burns

          Sorry man, I just don’t hear what you’re talking about. But it’s still pretty cool that there are people who like it, though.

          • Carlos Marrickvillian

            They always progressed from one album to the next and always progressed and challenged expectations.
            The butthurt they caused with this album made it a well worthwhile exercise.

  • Maybe I’m too rooted in the material world, but the 13 minutes of Poisonous Essence was more than enough delving into the mysteries of transcendence for me. Actually the sound quality of the youtube clip was the most intriguing part of the mystery.

    • Dethjesta

      It’s certainly impressively poor – not sure if it’s a result of incompetence, Indifference or Ineptitude.

  • Dethjesta

    I always like to play the embedded track while reading the review. This usually means pausing other music to do so.

    Well, I paused Be’lakor to listen to this – guess i should start checking the score first (which was easier when it was at the top btw).

    Never mind – back to Be’lakor I guess.

  • The Lascivious Snape

    Shame about the music, because that album art is tight. I want to know more about that temple. Who built it and what lays in wait for the travelers?

    The promo pic, tho. Jesus.

    • Grymm

      They narrowly escaped the Unicorn.

  • Tom Hardy

    Let’s all agree the writing in this review was a 5.0? Disappointing to read the album’s a rustbucket.

    By the way, I could perhaps help share the burden of writing about that pile of bloated albums you got there, site permitting.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    Huh… I, Voidhanger had to put out something bad eventually, right?

    • Tom Hardy

      Although the good surely outweighs the bad from what they’ve put out, the label has their share of albums you’re better off not listening to like Lorn, Antagoniste, Umbah, Phantom and a few others I don’t recall instantly.

    • AlphaBetaFoxface

      Once new Howls of Ebb is released, all sins will be forgotten

  • Brother Ben

    Hopefully you will end up with heaps of stellar albums by the end of the year. You know, like Job :) Great review!

    • Grymm

      There is one coming in a week or so that’s a potential Record o’ the Month candidate.

      • Diego Molero

        Well only if AMG is the one that review it, because if not, it won’t stant a chance. Hyperion is way better than FA!

      • Brother Ben

        Looking forward to the review! And the music of course

      • Tom Hardy

        Pleiades’ Dust or Krighsu? I’d put those down for a record of the year list.

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    After reading the review, I realize this sucks but I have no idea what it sounds like… Is it Death Metal, Black Metal, Doom metal…

    • sir_c

      It’s called: Oh cock, I dropped my iPhone into the drainpipe and I can still hear it playing

  • Scourge

    Come on! When Luna sings Wind Nocturne on the boat in Silver Star Story, it’s one of the best moments ever!

    • Grymm

      I admit, I did tear up during that scene back in the day.

  • AlphaBetaFoxface

    Things are looking pretty bright for the future of the band.

    I mean, they can’t possibly do any worse than this, right?

    • sir_c

      The only way is up, may not be the first thing you want to hear as a trve blakk metal band member