Spectral Voice’s Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is like a ghostly cry in the dark. It’s the first thing that springs to mind in every song. No matter how brutal or how atmospheric, its haunted halls are brimming with unspeakable horrors. And, of course, that’s the allure. While Spectral Voice have been releasing grim, A-grade death/doom for years now, Eroded Corridors of Unbeing proves they’re at their darkest yet.
You probably already knew, but Spectral Voice is 3/4 Blood Incantation. And in a way (if you’ve never heard them before), Spectral Voice is like Blood Incantation distilled through diSEMBOWELMENT (or Inverloch). The band has felt, to me, more skewed towards doom than death metal, but always willing to dabble in both. However, it’s the ghoulish, haunted atmosphere of this one that really cements it as a modern classic.
“Thresholds Beyond” is the perfect way to being this record. Something ethereal that makes you feel like you’re slowly floating through space and staring at the stars. The guitar melody is mesmerizing and the track takes time picking up momentum, using its first two-minutes well. However, the track does pick up speed, getting good and fast before reaching its halfway point. The decent into a pure death metal burn is done so without feeling jarring. The track eventually settles into a steady, heavy doom/death pace that eventually, almost beautifully dissolves.
It’s “Visions of Psychic Dismemberment” where Spectral Voice truly shine. The oozing, doom soaked, mourning intro leads way into a heavy, steady pace. At fourteen-minutes, the track is like a haunted mansion. Every aspect of this song is like an aeons old abode. Sometimes it’s tired, sometimes it weeps, sometimes it rattles the floorboards, sometimes it swings from the chandelier. Maybe I’m laying on the metaphor/simile heavy here, but the band inspires it. The mood is thick and unrelenting. Drummer/vocalist Eli Wendler goes from growls to screeches and moans, even soft, crackling whispers. At times, the voices are even schizophrenic (I can attest to this, being a diagnosed schizophrenic). But much like “Thresholds Beyond”, we’re left to dissolve as it ends in hissing, droning noise.
It’s been twenty-one-minutes and three tracks remain. “Lurking Gloom” is an instrumental piece that kind of breaks things up and kind of serves as a more straightforward offering. The piece is consistent in mood, constantly hurtling forward with thundering drums and guitar work that switches between brutal and melodic. Though it ends on a drab, dark, crushing note.
The final two tracks are just as suffocating as the rest of the album. There’s no stranglehold release as “Terminal Exhalation” and “Dissolution” close off the record. Spectral Voice continue to terrify and bludgeon. And the band makes no bones about overstaying their welcome. The ending two-minutes to “Terminal Exhalation” is particularly satisfying and droning. “Dissolution” gets downright gothic at times. Honestly, the track makes me wish an organ had been incorporated at times.
If you didn’t know about Spectral Voice before this, get ready to hunt down their whole discography. Eroded Corridors of Unbeing is one of the darkest and most ghostly records that has come out this year. And right now, I can’t think of much that could much compete. The composition is incredible and you can tell an incredible amount of effort went into it. Grab a pair of headphones, find a dark place and put your full attention into this. Spectral Voice are, were and shall be.