There is a great pandering to the high end of things during “The Near Death Experience”. In fact, there is a fuzz present during tracks like “Violent Stink of Twitching Terror” that provides annoyance. I understand the need to properly allow the vocals on a metal band to shine, but not at the expense of listeners’ ears. This crackling and electronic sound does not leave during the follow-up track to Spektr’s mini-epic “Violent Stink”. I believe that this high-band fuzz was put in to create a very industrial and bleak future for listeners to imagine, but I think that the disc would succeed more if the band just dropped that style completely. During “Astral Descend”, Spektr fills the track with an atmospheric style that does not use much in the way of direct vocals. There are screamed/whispered out vocals coupled with vocals that could only come from a beast, but nothing front and center for listeners to grab onto.
The band is talented, there is no doubting it, but the band makes it hard on “The Near Death Experience” to really get into what they are attempting to do. Each of the tracks flow nicely into each other, that is one plus, and the band shows time and time again on this disc that they are one of the most talented bands when it comes to creating atmospheric metal. For individuals into that specific style of metal, they need not look any further than “Climax”. The band is able to craft wind blowing, the creaking of a floor, and many other noises from just their own instruments and abilities.
The fuzz leaves the band for the most part during this track, so that is another plus by the band’s name. Spektr is not necessarily an act that individuals can just listen to and thrash out for the entirety of a disc (“The Near Death Experience” is nearly fifty minutes), but this does not mean that the band can not create the fury that is present in such bipolar acts like “Come To Daddy”-era Aphex Twin. The fan of this album will be a very intelligent listener, as what may seem to some to be nothing more than noise is in all realities something very deep and detailed. Give the disc a go if you feel as if you are an intelligent listener, but do not be surprised if the band does not appeal to you. The fuzz is a structural problem, but is one that can be largely ignored during the second half of the disc.
Top Tracks: Climax, Astral Descent