This is the second album from Spiralist, a solo post-metal act from Portugal.
Eternal Recurrence is an interesting album that’s hard to easily pin down when it comes to genre. Post-metal is probably the most obvious tag, but then there’s also a blackened aspect to parts of it. It has a pretty blatant progressive side too, sometimes, very 70s sci-fi in feel. There are also elements of doom and industrial that can be heard in places. I’m going to stick to the post-metal appellation and be done with it, but just know that the artist behind Spiralist cares not for producing easily categorised music.
The album is divided into four substantial tracks, each longer than the last. The music is well-written and crafted with care. Each track has its own personality, yet the artist manages to make them all fit together holistically.
Sun Ra is the opener and it sounds like the mutant offspring of blackened post-metal, 70s sci-fi synths, and modern heavy progressive metal. It gets the heart pounding and sets the scene for the constantly evolving sound of Spiralist.
Transmutate starts off reminding me of something The Ocean might do, with free roaming piano, drums, and clean singing. The prominent synths from Sun Ra make a welcome return and deliver a pretty crazy solo. As the song develops the comparison to The Ocean solidifies in my mind, only Transmutate has more of a stoner doom interpretation of this. The Ocean by way of Sunnata, maybe? Either way, it is a strong song.
With Sun Ra and Transmutate essentially almost sounding like different bands, third track The Unknown is well-named. What will we get this time? Beginning with swirling ambient sounds, it gives nothing away for about four minutes, before an underground rumbling slowly appears which builds into a mood-piece that is vaguely reminiscent of something Devin Townsend might create if he collaborated with Nadja. The Unknown is an instrumental atmospheric industrial work that’s as engaging as it is immersive. Unexpected, but top marks.
The album closes with the 16-minute title track, which brings together much of what we’ve encountered so far, while also introducing some new elements. Eternal Recurrence is an epic song, falling in style somewhere between The Ocean and Between the Buried and Me, while ending with a modern blackened flourish.
Eternal Recurrence is an accomplished album by an artist with clear talent. If you have a taste for the sort of genre-hopping style that you can hear on this release, then make sure you check out Spiralist.