Swedish melancholic dark-rock/DeathMetal outfit Speglas, masterminded by Isak Rosemarin, return with their second EP, Time, Futility and Death, the long-awaited follow-up to 2015s debut EP Birth, Dreams and Death, which had strong echoes of Dissection and Tribulation. Those echoes are still reflected in this latest release, but they have developed a style that is more individual to themselves this time around. However, if you enjoyed the predecessor, you definitely won’t be disappointed with this follow-up offering. It makes a strong progression in the right direction.
Speglas – Time, Futility and Death (Pulverised Records)
Release Date: 18 November 2022
Words: Jools Green
Lyrically the six-track, twenty-eight-minute Time, Futility and Death, as the title suggests, continues to explore, in a similar manner to the predecessor, the desolate aspects of existence and a “desire to seek solace from what ultimately is an inevitable departure of physical flesh.”
Each piece is beautifully considered and crafted, engagingly melodic and broad-ranging in content but still delivering an impactful punch when necessary, the melodic aspect making a superbly stark contrast to the raw but clearly delivered vocals.
The instrumental opener, Leap, is a part atmospheric soundscape and a part classical guitar-led piece, an atmospherically haunting scene setter that draws you curiously in. The next piece, Avow, is dark, haunting, powerful and dramatic, particularly the swathes of lead work, the raw vocals adding further impact, with piano adding extra texture, ebbing back and turning reflective towards the close.
Voyage, with its addictive opening repeat and more piano elements, follows, the quiet, distant vocals drawing you in, the melodic hooks grabbing your attention further, making the raw vocals all the more impactful on their arrival. Mid-way through the second half, it drops back for a classically styled guitar interlude, building back up again gently.
The penultimate piece, At The Precipice, is awash end to end with more beautifully reflective melodic elements, building into something a little more choppy but engaging. Midway, the vocals are more protracted and tortured, contrasted with clean backing harmonies.
The final piece, One Last Midnight, is a closing monster at over eight minutes. A complex, reflectively meandering build opens out into something much more blackened and intense but with a wonderfully convoluted ebb and build. Melodic swathes draw you in midway, dropping back to a quiet and reflective version of the core melody with an almost Doom-like aspect to the delivery before building in pace towards the close one final time. The tortuous scream cut through you before one final intense burst, unnerving yet sublime.
Time, Futility and Death is a very easy and engaging listen end to end that has a beautifully organic flow and is also hugely thought-provoking. The artwork was created by band mastermind and vocalist Isak Rosemarin.
Time, Futility and Death will be available in CD, MLP, and tape formats via PHD and Soulfood distros and in digital format from https://pulverised.bandcamp.com/album/time-futility-death.