Spirits Of The Dead
When presented with a debut album from a Norwegian rock band, my heart skips a beat as visions of appalling death metal sweep round my head. Luckily, Spirits Of The Dead are far removed from the doom laden gore merchants that their name implies. They are, in fact, a set of 1970s style hard rockers with enough heavy riffing, meaty hooks and guitar solos to keep rock fans of any generation happy. The influences and stylings on display may be obvious - think Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Free, Yes, Rush etc - and you’ll be pretty close but when those influences are styled with such panache as they are here then, frankly, who cares. The songs on show here run the whole gamut of classic rock: from the fuzzed up psychedelia of the organ heavy opener ‘White Lady/Black Rave’ through the galloping ‘The Wave Of Our Oceans’; the lilting prog rock of ‘My Wild Dream’ right until the epic ‘Spirits of The Dead’ closes out the album in a glorious display of riffing worthy of the great Tony Iommi. There have been a lot of retro styled rock albums of late but Spirits Of The Dead is easily the pick of the bunch.