Spiritraiser was formed in Helsinki in 2010. It includes members from Sleep of Monsters and Profane Omen. The band themselves describes their music as atmospheric rock, combining the versatile use of sound effects. The band is releasing their debut album “Inspiral” on 28 September 2018. Admittedly, reviewing “Inspiral” wasn’t an easy thing to do, not in a bad way. It’s just that Spiritraiser have managed to create something very intriguing and at times even unique. At least, I wouldn’t be able to tell you what band they could potentially sound like.
The album starts off with “Sun”. It’s a good introduction to what the band has in motion for us. “Sun” is the perfect start because symbolically the sun’s path is exactly what I would use to describe Spiritraiser’s music. Think of their music like a timelapse of the sun rising and setting. The sun never sets off his path, always takes the same one, but can often surprise you. Sometimes it shines hard, sometimes you don’t see it for days. But it’s always there. That’s exactly what “Inspiral” does. The build-up in these songs is of uttermost importance because it creates an atmospheric route to immersion. Meanwhile, the songs surprise you, they can be very mellow, but they also have aggressive sides to them. In that sense, the songs are build up in the same way, but the outcome in every single track is different. Each song feels like a story that you need to listen to, one that you need to experience. On the other hand, during our interview, the band explained how visual art will also be an important factor in their music. This became especially clear in their latest music video “Sun”. It basically turns the whole song even more into a visual experience. But does that mean the music needs these visual outlines to add up to the story? No. “Inspiral” speaks to you in many ways. My advice would be to close your eyes while you listen to the album and just let random images come to your mind. This is the kind of album that can evoke those kinds of things, form a story in your head and inspire you.
When I talk about personal favorites of the album, it’s hard to pick a couple. I feel that every song is there for a reason, there are no filler tracks on the album and it’s just really about which one jumps out for you. Every song has a different story. All are very versatile in their own way and they leave a different mark and impression on you. If I have to pick three, I would pick “Sun”, “Fusion” and “Nuntai”. Especially the latter one, an instrumental track, introduces some new elements into the mix that are very interesting and grabbed me from the first instance, this was the most surprising track for me, because at times it’s surprisingly jazzy even. Incorporating many elements from “Sun” in there, it forms the perfect outro to the album and it forms a natural loop between the beginning and end of the album.
Musically, we’re talking about a mixture of different genres, and they can be very diverse, there are elements of electronic music in there, shoegaze, prog, rock music, and metal. Sometimes I get a very grungy vibe and of course, the stoner aspect of the music is undeniable. But all-in-all Spiritraiser have created something of their own. All the instruments, as well as the vocals, play an even part in creating a story, the album is not guitar-driven or does not rely on crazy-ass vocal melodies. Everything is blended into an atmospheric whole that just makes a lot of sense and feels very natural.
The tracks are not that easy to digest, aren’t basic in their construction, but they’re not too complex either. There’s a proper balance in that sense and Spiritraiser might, therefore, appeal to lots of different audiences.
Why should you listen to the album? Apart from “Inspiral” being a unique blend of sounds, the album allows you to immerse yourself into the sound. You will not only enjoy what you hear, but you’ll be able to lose yourself completely. This immersive experience is very relaxing and provides you with a multi-sensory approach to listening to music. There are moments that the music will give you goosebumps, will make you laugh, will make you cry. The whole listening experience is a journey and it’s one worth taking. So, sit back and relax and play “Inspiral” on repeat.
Bass: Anssi Ruotanen
Drums & Programming: Kristian Merilahti
Guitar: Uula Korhonen
Vocals: Jules Näveri
5. Venus Sky
28 September 2018