(7/10) New York-based doom/sludge masters Unearthly Trance might not be on everyone's lips, but this doesn't say anything about their music and the quality of their songs. On the newest longplayer the trio is 'stalking the ghost' and they do this with eight songs that are in average quite long. In total fans get 52 minutes of roaring and harsh metal that's not done for the mainstream
After having released the last studio record seven years ago it was the right timing for the highly anticipated new longplayer. "Stalking the Ghost" is a counterpart to the upcoming European spring and in one or another way it's a musical prolongation of the dark winter times. This longplayer features songs that are slow-paced riff monsters that slowly creep into your ears and mind. Charged with a gloomy vibe each of the tunes transports melancholy, despair and anger - all mixed to a sound cocktail that tastes very well. And since all the mentioned is embedded into a blackened atmosphere, things get even more exciting.
A song that give you some indication about Unearthly Trance's sound is the nine minutes masterpiece "The Great Cauldron" that acts like a sonic maelstrom. It starts spot-on in a quite moderate pace which stands for the general pattern of this track. But since a nine minutes tune needs to offer more, the band build in some good breaks, reducing the speed while keeping the vibe. The slow and heavily down-tuned riffs along the way reminded me partly of bands like YOB and even some more classic doom a la St. Vitus is shining through the 'sludgy' surface.
"Stalking the Ghost" is a dark and intense album that puts a gray musical haze over the upcoming European spring season and in case you can't handle colorful Dutch tulips, than this is album is your compensation.
- Into the Spiral
- Dream State Arsenal
- Lion Strength
- Invisible Butchery
- The Great Cauldron
- In the Forest's Keep
Label: Relapse Records
Release Date EU: February 24th, 2017