Saturday, February 16, 2013

Album Review - Self-titled by Rectified Spirit - 8.5/10

Artwork by Mayur Saikia
Rectified Spirit was formed in 2005, by members Samudragupta Dutta (guitarist) and Himangshu Borah (bassist). After playing for a few years in the active nearby circuits, Rectified Spirit disbanded and was on a hiatus of sorts from 2009 to 2011. 2011 came to be the year that the band started working on some new and serious material, which includes influences of old and new school forms of metal. These influences range from Iron Maiden all the way to Periphery.

Although they contain many influences, their sound can easily be categorized as a progressive heavy metal of sorts. Think of Iced Earth and Symphony X fused with Brendon Small and a touch of Periphery. Rectified Spirit is a containment of many surprises, not just because of the description of their sound from above, but also the ferocity and energy they dish out in this album. Their self-titled debut is a force to be reckoned with, even with the 2012 year being over, I can see this band getting mighty popular, mighty fast.

Their self titled effort begins with somewhat of a theatrical note with the reading of a passage along with the light strumming of the guitar. You're suddenly smacked in the face with heavy hitting riffs that contain a progressive heavy metal sound to them. The vocals take a bit to get used to at first. They come off as soft and somewhat underwhelming until you get closer to the middle of the track. This is where you'll hear the influences of Iced Earth as well as some Brendon Small (or something similar) with the vocal work which is impressively backed up by the uptempo drums and well placed guitar pieces. "To Hold a Sabre" tones down quite rapidly and prepares you for the next, "Bloodrush".

"Bloodrush" showcases the use of distinct, crisp cleans. You also get a more rapid and galloping rhythm strewn throughout, heard from the guitar and drums. The song title defines this track almost perfectly. This is the tune that WILL draw you into the album if the previous hasn't done so already.

"Paradigm Lost" really shows the genuine side of this band. If you weren't paying attention to the lyrics or message, you should now (MUSIC VIDEO). The destructive guitar and eruptive drum work will get any listener to bang their head. The harsh vocals kick in, adding a darkened state to the mix of things. The chorus is catchy, as the singer takes control and lets loose with everything he has. The driving rhythm that courses through the entire piece perfectly depicts the pure energy this band possesses.

"The Magician's Birthday" provides 1 of 2 ballads for the album, the other being "Mother". The introduction contains a well played acoustic guitar. The guitar solo, later on, in this song really demonstrates the guitar player's prowess which isn't shown as much in some of the previous. The self-titled track depicts everything the band has done thus far perfectly, putting the best characteristics into one solid product. The progressive backing instrumentals bring out a whole new element of the heavy metal influence this band follows. This track ends up being another favorite of mine, simply because it sounds like Iced Earth on progressive steroids.

"There Is No Tomorrow" keeps up the fast paced energy. Being the introduction to the second half of the album, one would come to think that this band would begin to lose intensity and substance in their music. This isn't true with this album. It remains pretty consistent throughout. Although I see music for the sound (for the most part, it just depends on the artist/album), I began seeing an underlying image with the music in the lyrics. Rectified Spirit pays homage to what heavy metal has always been about: the uplifting spirit that it brings to its listeners and the strong positive attitude.

There is a lot more to this album than what meets the ear. Although it comes off as straight forward heavy metal, it will take a few more listens to get the entire "image" set in your mind. You'll find yourself picking up on new aspects with each listen (especially the instrumentals). What really surprised me was the energy of the vocalist and how he becomes stronger and stronger as the album progresses. For a debut album, I'm pretty impressed.

All in all, every listen gets better and better for me. If you're an old fashioned metalhead you will definitely dig the energy that this band brings to the table. Progressive metal lovers may like what is going on here, but it all really depends on your tastes. I can't wait to hear what these guys come up with for their second effort. I'm just hoping it doesn't take another 5 years or so. Check these guys out when you get the chance, I can't recommend them enough!

Rating - 8.5/10
Release Date - December 28th, 2012

Lineup

Rainjong Lepcha - Vocals
Samudragupta Dutta - Guitars
Dishankan Baruah- Guitars
Himangshu Borah - Bass Guitar
Nishant Hagjer - Drums


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