Despite the fact that this is the band’s seventh album, this is my first encounter with Arctic Sleep’s music. It seems I’ve been missing out; what we have here is hugely impressive. However, the man behind Arctic Sleep is also the man behind Unearthed Elf, and as I absolutely love Unearthed Elf’s Into the Catacomb Abyss, I suppose it should come as no surprise that Kindred Spirits is as good as it is.
The music is progressive doom/post-metal with plenty of melody and atmosphere, although this description doesn’t really come close to fully describing the distinctive music here. This is not your standard album; the quality levels on this thing are through the roof.
The music is textured and richly delivered. Each track has something all of its own to recommend it, while also fitting neatly into the holistic tapestry that is the album as a whole. Sometimes it’s delicate and soft, while at other times it’s very metal and full of beefy riffs. There’s a lot of ground covered on this release, but whatever the artist behind the band does, you can be assured that it drips with emotion and is very affecting in what it does.
The vocals are gorgeous. They’re clean, emotive, and utterly compelling. The main vocal performances, (as well as those from all additional contributors), are stunning, and very well delivered. The vocals are definitely a highlight of this album, but the music more than holds its own.
Enhanced with strings, keyboards, and piano where needed, the end result is a collection of songs that are beautifully emotive, with a rich seam of melancholic and downbeat moods and atmospheres explored very ably. With a recording that’s warm and organic, the overall package is completely absorbing and is easy to lose yourself in.