A massive debut from Australia's SPIRE. A monumental display of Black/Death gloom.
the title of Entropy portends much of its malignant, miasmic contents. Since their fortuitous beginnings, SPIRE's black metal is an obsidian tower both ascending and descending, to the heavens and the hells, an unbreakable/unshakable continuum of grim splendor ‘n’ despair. But whereas a lot of slow(er) black metal simply sounds like that - "slow" - the SPIRE sound carries a very patient, simmering aura, that continuum portending darker, more doomed things than the reigned-in pace suggests, that cyclonic violence is around the corner, lurking dread to be imminently invoked. And indeed it is invoked across Entropy, and often, as the spiraling ascent/descent is even more malaised 'n' hazed, the violence more threatening and dramatic, and the shifts between the two both sudden and subtle.
But unlike SPIRE's earlier work, the atmosphere of Entropy solely stems from both the songwriting and its execution rather than simply the sound itself. In fact, one could argue that Entropy is daresay "well produced" or at least more than a bit clear; its murk wholly arises from the record's contents and those players willing it into being. When the trend in modern underground metal is utter obfuscation - and often, when there's little to nothing of any value worth obscuring in the first place - SPIRE's clarity of expression is a daring move, and one suggestive of a band whose confidence and mastery have at last conjoined. One must only hear the closing, 14-minute title track to corroborate this fact.