Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Spina Bifida - Iter

So, the horror tale of old death metal bands that are exhumed from the crypts is continued with Spina Bifida from Holland. Well, this band was never in the centre of attention and I dare to say that they were almost forgotten through the years. The fact that “Ziyadah”, their 1993 album (released on Adipocere) was difficult to find did not help. But some maniacs kept them in their memories and that even led to re-release of “Ziyadah” in 2014 on Memento Mori from Spain. In the meantime most of the original members who recorded the only Spina Bifida album 20 years ago decided to reform their old band, with new vocalist William Nijhof. Well, for me this news were nothing exciting, to be honest, it wasn’t something I was looking forward to hear, but that’s only because I’ve never heard of Spina Bifida until couple of years ago, when someone introduced me to “Ziyadah”.
So, I started to listen to “Iter” with no high expectations, but damn, I must say that this CD really crushed me badly. It just sounds so damn good! One of the best things about “Iter” is that it really sounds like something recorded in the early 90’s and the time never moved all those 20 years forward. It’s like someone found an old Spina Bifida demo or EP and decided to release it on CD! The production is so classic, harsh and heavy, perfect for the old school death doom metal of the old days. And musically it is also traditional stuff, in the vein of early Paradise Lost, Decomposed or Eternal Darkness. You can also mention Mystic Charm, Sempiternal  Deathreign, Castle because we must mention some Dutch doom death bands haha. Of course the music is sloooowww, it’s very dark and mournful, with slight hints of melody which makes it all better and yes, it also has the low, depressive vocals. With five songs it’s all enough to keep me highly interested and excited, as the songs are all really good. And luckily Spina Bifida didn’t come up with one hour long album, which would be tiresome and overlong. It’s perfectly balanced and the songs may sound monotonous, but with 30 minutes on the clock I cannot think of any fragment of “Iter”, which would bore me. It’s just heavy, mournful death doom in its most classic form. And surely it’s a nice return for Spina Bifida. I’m not gonna compare this CD to their old album, as more than 20 years between them both makes such comparisons a bit silly, but I’m sure that all of you who love “Ziyadah”, will also like “Iter”.
Standout tracks: “Awe”, “Silent Fields”

Final rate: 75/100

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