I’m a little ashamed to admit that my selection process when it comes new bands is often down to how much I like their logo. It’s not the only reason of course, I think it’s the teenager in me that spent every weekend in record shops trawling through the racks of vinyl in search of those albums that ‘looked like they sounded good’.
I discovered Spirytus (and their logo) because of their involvement with TBFM’s 5th Birthday bash. Of the bands playing the Bash I hadn’t heard before, Spirytus caught my eye first so I checked them out and was very impressed, and have been anticipating a new release ever since.
The five piece, hailing from Nottingham and Leicester, describe themselves as ‘aggressive funk groove metal’ which pretty much covers their mix of sounds, though the label doesn’t do justice to the way their varied influences merge together sublimely to create an exceptionally fresh and powerful sound. As soon as I pressed play on The Fundamentals EP I was hooked…
From the first “punch in the face” riff of ‘Fundamentals’ I found myself appreciatively banging my head in time. The down-tuned, riff driven groove is reminiscent of Biohazard and Roots era Sepultura but the added layers of processed scratch and funk vocals are more in tune with the sounds of Faith No More and Rage Against the Machine. This ambitious mix offers a really fresh approach to heavy music that I don’t think I’ve heard in some time. There may be influences of old, but this EP feels very new.
There’s so much diversity and complexity in their sound, even parts that reminded me of the likes of Dub Pistols and Soulwax who would and should never normally have a place in metal… but it all fits seamlessly, and never feels like it’s trying too hard to be different for the sake of it. From the juxtaposition of melody and aggression in Qandahar to the drop beats and electronic layers in All Because of Me, the EP is still 100% heavy, and 100% metal.
Rather than breaking down the release into tracks and reviewing each one, my recommendation after enjoying it on loop is that it’s something that’s best savoured as a whole. The originality, diversity, and musicianship of The Fundamentals EP makes it a highly enjoyable and very immersive 30 minutes from start to finish.
I have no doubt Spirytus will prosper, and I very much look forward to feeling the vibe of these tunes live; if they can get anywhere near the energy and passion of their recorded sound, they’ll be melting off faces in the front row.
And I really do like their logo.
Spirytus are Ryan Walton, Alistair Bell, Ben Edis, Danny Jones and Ben McAlonan.