Spire - Entropy
Review by Trevor Proctor.
Back in June The Lair of Filth brought you details of Spire’s debut full length which is now close to its release via Iron Bonehead Productions. Due to the high standard of music featured on ‘Entropy’ I thought it only fitting to review this highly anticipated album and also bring you a track stream. Coming from Queensland in Australia Spire has maintained a shroud of secrecy since their inception in 2007, keeping details of membership etc. minimal.Whilst live pictures suggest there’s a total of five members who perform on stage there’s very little information available as to how many members participate in writing, performing or producing their sublime style of Black Metal that’s laced with plenty of atmosphere and ambience.
Despite forming in 2007 it was 2010 before Spire officially released any music which came in the form of their self-titled debut EP released on CD by Obscure Abhorrence Productions in February 2010. The EP was popular enough to prompt a vinyl release by Art of Propaganda in December 2010 and a cassette release from Fall of Nature Records in February 2012. Further new music came from Spire in November 2011 when they released the ‘Metamorph’ EP on CD, again released by Art of Propaganda Records. There were no further releases and very little activity from Spire until leading underground label Iron Bonehead Productions brought us a superb vinyl edition of ‘Metamorph’ in December 2014. This high profile release reignited interest in this mysterious band and helped bring them a stronger degree of attention within the underground. As to be expected Iron Bonehead Productions done a sterling job with the vinyl edition of ‘Metamorph,’ which is pictured below and still available from the Iron Bonehead Productions web-store. Also worth noting is Spire’s self-titled debut EP is also available from Iron Bonehead.
Until now Spire’s only new music since ‘Metamorph’ was a single track entitled ‘Scientia’ as featured on a 7” split they shared with Midnight Odyssey and released in January 2015. From then until now it’s been relatively quiet with Spire seemingly disappearing back into the shadows from which they first emerged but the good news is this is a return that’s most definitely worth waiting for.
‘Entropy’ features six tracks across forty four minutes with track duration varying from just under three minutes to over thirteen. Spire cryptically start with a track entitled ‘Ends’ which begins quite slow at an almost mournful pace, a pace punctuated by ominous chanting. However, as with the rest of the album, it’s not long before the pace suddenly changes to fast, intense Black Metal.
Herein lies one of the beauties with this album, Spire has a remarkably strong ability to flit between tempos and styles without ever losing one iota of your attention. I’ve admired Spire’s music for a while but this album is a step further along the road they started upon with their earlier releases, a step further that’s fueled and strengthened by a noticeable growth and development with their song writing.
Whilst the album is well produced and features quite a clear sound Spire has been able to achieve a level of murkiness and atmosphere via the composition of the tracks and the way in which they’re played – put simply Spire is capable of creating atmosphere much superior to what many bands strive for without having to ramp up the murkiness in production. Track three ‘(Remake)’ further illustrates Spire’s writing capabilities and ambition, it’s quite a laid back instrumental spanning well over seven minutes - seven minutes of haunting and captivating ambience which set things the scene nicely for the remainder of the album. The opening tracks are extremely strong but from here onwards the remaining tracks go from strength to strength to the album’s stunning and majestic closer, ‘Entropy.’
‘Entropy’ is a thirteen minute track which brings out the best in Spire and further emphasizes how their confidence and musical ability have grown and merged to enable them to create music of such a high standard. Gloriously emotive yet filled with despondence this is most definitely a track, and indeed album, that’s riddled with many different contrasts and styles, a captivating and totally immersive listen throughout with each track bringing us something different to that before it. These contrasts were perfectly summed up by the press release which stated “Above all, Entropy is an album of stark contrasts - speed/sloth, density/space, tension/resolution - brought into frightening focus; it leaves everything and nothing to the listener. The gates have both opened and closed, and there stands the Spire, your Entropy all but guaranteed.” ‘Entropy’ is another true gem from Iron Bonehead Productions that deserves a wider audience than Spire has enjoyed before – listeners need to wake up a little when it comes to Spire’s music and hopefully this will be the release which sees this happen.
Track four ‘Void’ is available to stream below and should give you a strong enough indication as to just how good this album is.
Spire’s strongest release to date – exceptional 9/10.
01 - Ends
02 - Labyrinthine
03 - (Remake)
04 - Void
05 - (Unmake)
06 - Entropy.