Speirling - The Piper
Unholy Design
Black Metal
7 songs (37:06)
Release year: 2008
Unholy Design
Reviewed by Goat

British Black Metal takes another step into the gaze of the international scene here, as Speirling release an album that is both rooted in the very depths of the movement and forward-looking in outlook. A concept album retelling the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, the opening chords and screams of Tempest Of Truth seize your attention, and then Filthy And Cold kicks your face in with its old Darkthrone plus old Burzum riffs, manic screams and those almost-tribal drums at once familiar yet here strangely new. Drummer Nechtan (also of Ethernal) proves himself rather skilled behind the kit, more than Varg anyways, as he backs the diverse melodies skilfully and hypnotically, never resorting to boring repetitiveness for more than a moment.

Blaidd (on everything else) could be providing Thrash riffs, such are the catchy shapes he forms on guitar. Wrath Of The Wild takes a more melodic turn, keyboards dotted here and there flowering the path and slowing the music to a crawl as the music turns towards more depressive territory. It soon breaks down and returns to the Carpathian Forest-on-crack style of before, fear not, and throughout the album this sense of cleaving to the truest forms of Black Metal holds strong, even with moments like the choir that closes the aforementioned Wrath Of The Wild.

It’s impressive how much Speirling manage with the true formula, Three Shrill Notes stopping and starting like a broken-down record, The World Breaks having backing clean vocals like a Viking choir... everything about the band, however, the riffs, the drums, the music itself is undeniably old-school and defiantly low-fi. Into The Blazing Abyss is far from the Marduk-esque raging warmachine you’d expect with a title like that; instead, it starts as an atmospheric keyboard piece before going all martial on your ass with epic guitar melodies. Closing seven-minuter Born Again Damned is pretty much a summary of the album, headbanging riffs mixed with epic backing, the Bathory-esque choirs really effective here as they form a major part of the backing sound.

Ultimately, this won’t break the brain of anyone at all au fait with the 90s Black Metal world, but it is an interesting take on it, and as an debut full-length promises much to come.

Killing Songs :
Filthy And Cold, Wrath Of The Wild, The World Breaks, Born Again Damned
Goat quoted 75 / 100
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