RECTIFIED SPIRIT Reviewed

I honestly don’t know how to begin this review; I’m struggling to put into words just how much I love this album. Rectified Spirit are the band responsible for my writer’s block today: a five-piece power-thrash-type outfit from India whose list of influences include: Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Periphery and Saxon. These are some big names to live up to and some of my all time favourites. The band originally began in August 2005 but, due to various reasons, the band was halted in 2009 and then reformed in 2011 in the incarnation they now appear in. The band describe themselves as: “in the perennial cycle of evolving their individual style with an absolutely liberal approach and without any genre restrictions” which excites me greatly. Sometimes, when a band is in a constant state of flux regarding the genre they play in it can come across as messy, but I have yet to find a band who do this and are boring (I’m sure one day I’ll eat my words but it is not today!).

The first track, “To Hold a Sabre” begins in a, truly, dramatic fashion with clean guitars and a speech given in a voice that sounds like a cross between Christopher Lee and David Bowie in Labyrinth (a great introduction for sure). Then at 0:46 the speech breaks into gutsy guitars and drums that bring the song to life. The playing is excellent and the song has obviously been carefully crafted to create the Rectified Spirit sound. Rainjong Lepcha’s vocals are both beautiful and powerful, and would not be out of place in a Maiden album. He is a beast!

“Bloodrush” follows; bursting into existence with screaming and exciting guitar hooks. This song is a powerhouse of constantly changing riffs and beats; all of which are tantalising. The mix in vocals between lead and backing works so well together and the guitar solos are perfection and, I suspect, are the result of many hours practicing.

The drumming which introduces “Paradigm Lost” also highlights Nishant Hagjer’s experience and talent. In fact: The first 25 seconds of this song is a drumming masterclass. This does not undermine anyone else’s contribution to this track as, once more, everything about it is fantastic. The dynamic between the high pitched vocals and the gruff growling (both of which are executed tremendously) fits very well into this song.

“The Magician’s Birthday” begins with beautifully played acoustic guitar which provides a lovely bit of juxtaposition from the last song. It is the perfect introduction to a more mellow feel which supports Rectified Spirit’s claim to not be bound to a single genre. This moves into a more rocky groove but keeps its mellower beat. Although faster guitars and bass are employed in this track, is slower pace keeps this “The Magician’s Birthday” as its own article and makes it stand out in the album.

The next tune is “Rectified Spirit” and it begins with a beautiful climbing introduction comprised of drums and guitars increasing in speed hinting at a coming climax. At 1:07 the song explodes in a fury of epic vocal mixes and well thought out guitars. This is definitely a great song to name after themselves as it shows how powerful each component of the band is (not that there have been any weaknesses this far).

“There is No Tomorrow” has a great, solid beat for moving to which makes me really want to see this played live (please come and play in England!). It’s robust and dynamic between thrilling solos and more outstanding vocals.

The next track, “Where the Ashes Fell” also begins with a scream but this time it feels like a call to arms. The deep and guttural vocals reinforce this impression and the same goes for the guitars which provide such immense intensity. At 2:26 the energy shifts to allows for another bout of masterful guitar solos before, once more, bringing the energy back up to maximum.

“Vengeance” immediately has a different feeling to it: the guitars remind me slightly of Meshuggah (another listed influence). This song is darker but keeps the feeling of going into battle that “Where Ashes Fell” created, even with Rainjong Lepcha’s incredibly high vocals. The deep growled vocals are utilised perfectly here as well.

“Until We Expire”, the penultimate song on the album, features a lot of juxtaposition between mellow guitars and thunderous drums which lead me to believe this might be another mellow track. Wrong. This song is a storm of its own; featuring a lot more brilliant changes in tempo and beats which are very engaging.

The album ends with “Mother”, a masterpiece at almost nine minutes long. This song returns to the mellow feeling seen earlier in “The Magician’s Birthday” but with added drama brought by crushing guitars and strong, clean vocals. There is a sombreness about this song which makes it wonderfully sad. Lighters waving in the air would not be out of place to this song (though not phone screens…). The song ends with some more wonderful acoustic guitar which perfectly rounds off the album.

Overall, in case it isn’t obvious by this point, I absolutely loved this album! Every single member of the band is talented and leaves me with the impression that they practice very hard to accomplish the sound they have crafted for themselves. There is neither a weak player nor a weak song on the album and Rectified Spirit should be proud of what they have created here.

By Eileen Bate

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