The genre on Spirit of Metal says black heavy, meaning this band supposedly mixes black metal and traditional heavy metal. The only other band that I know that does this is “I”, the combination of Immortal, Gorgoroth, and Enslaved. I was blown away by their 2006 masterpiece (which I’ve also written a review on, and I’m also waiting for a follow-up since they’re still listed as active on Nuclear Blast). “I” had mainly Abbath’s black metal style vocals with fairly fast heavy metal music with a nice glaze of black metal to give it some edge. So after hearing Between Two Worlds, I made a lazy attempt to look around for other bands that had fused the two genres. And as my conscious had predicted, they all sucked. But apparently I had missed a surprisingly well-known band known as ROOT.
ROOT has a really sludgy sound to their music. And even though I am still fairly new to the whole sludge metal area of things, I feel I can generally point it out when I hear it. And that’s one of the things that makes this band really unique (and also probably what has kept them around for so long), which is that they have added some sludge metal and even some 90s style punk into their music. Mega bonus points for fusing four different genres and still making it sound not half bad! The song that really had a strong punk sound would be Legacy of the Ancestors.
Some of the songs that have a very prominent sludge metal sound would be the 8th track (can’t figure out how to put some of the symbols in there haha) and In Nomine Sathanas. The 8th track was the first song I ended up hearing on the album and with its really thick, heavy, slow sound, I was thinking they were adding guttural black metal vocals to sludge metal. But I was obviously wrong for making that assumption of the rest of the album because instantly after that, the powerful intro and the black metal song “Greetings from the Abyss” (my favorite song off the album) leaped at me from the speakers with pure power and very abstract vocals. Now I realize why Spirit of Metal put them as BLACK heavy.
Now let’s rewind the tape and take a look at the beginning of the album, because I’ve mainly been talking about songs that are at the end of the record. There’s something about this record that bothers me greatly, and that is that the intro track is over 5 minutes long. Now don’t get me wrong, I was fascinated by the spoken Satanic poem (which in fact I am a Satanist), but it was way too drawn out to be an INTRO track. I feel that intro tracks should be about at most ¾ the average length of the songs on the rest of the album. So my opinion on the intro track, it belongs either in the middle as an interlude or at the end as an eerie outro.
Overall, this album really isn’t half bad! It could use quite a bit of tweaking in some areas, but this is a nice thick black metal soup. 14/20.