Spiral - 'Mind Trip In A Minor' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 09, 2013    
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A special release which you should savour again and again.

Any band that can lay claim to releasing seven albums and nine singles across a four year period are either inspired, or deluded. Spiral are inspired, or you might say inspiraled....sorry. ‘Mind Trip In A Minor’ is a genre blending voyage of bleakness, interspersed with dazzling moments of hope that are almost immediately defeated by more gloom. But what glorious gloom it is! As any release with a title as convoluted as ‘Mind Trip...’ should be, this is conceptual stuff, although whether you can follow the story, well that’s another matter - even with a description inside the CD booklet. As a taster, here’s the introduction...

“These are the only things you know: You woke up on a dry river bed, 7 dead bodies litter the ground, your hand is bloody and it curls tightly around a key. This is all you know. You search for days on end until finally you find a small keyhole in the trunk of a large oak. You slide the key in and turn. The oak opens and reveals an ancient cave. You step inside.”

Are you any the wiser? No me neither, but the music is even more intriguing, as the trio of Chris Walker (lead guitar), Aaron Frale (guitar/vocals) and Chris Boat (vocals/keyboards/bass) merge the lines between psych, space-rock, stoner, doom and modern-ish prog to great effect.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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You really do have to approach the whole experience in the manner it was originally intended, which is one continuous piece of music rather than separate “songs”, allowing the album to flow, revisiting themes and sounding amazingly cohesive in the process. Evolving and changing before your very ears. The entire process is dark, dank and threatening, but instead of blunting the attack, the sheer variation of approaches makes this a hugely engaging album that engrosses you from start to finish through the sheer breadth of what it contains. The arrangements are stunning, and with a sound that is sharp and to the point, the plaintive, eerie keyboards, acoustic guitar, forthright riffs and uneasy vocals which range from gargled wails, to unsettling whispers, all somehow cut through.

The end results are progressive, without being prog. Doom laden, without being doomish. Spacey, without being space rock. Droning, without being, well, boring. And while there are fleeting moments where other bands are brought to mind, the whole experience is refreshingly difficult to pin down - if music this dense can ever be considered refreshing. Add to the package stunning artwork from Zdzislaw Beksinski and ‘Mind Trip In A Minor’ really does become a special release which you should savour again and again, discovering new reasons to be cheered by its gloom every time.

Steven Reid

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