Behind the two Chilean Doom Metal bands that had gained international respect (MAR DE GRISES and POEMA ARCANUS), there are still a few underground undiscovered gems, bands that deliver original and highly uncompromised Doom. My favourite among them is Santiago based BITTERDUSK, a band that although more than one decade old, had only released one full-length back in 2002: “Spirits”.
This album represents an ethereal mix between the epic Doom of CANDLEMASS and the quiet heaviness of old ANATHEMA. It is a subtle gem as melancholic as Doom can get. The booklet shows a picture of the band inside a pine forest surrounded by the fading lights of dusk and that is exactly the sensation that this album produces on the listener… a very quiet passion, lightly sorrowful but without turning depressive, making you feel a thrilling yet warm embrace.
The songs are generally slow and very long. An intense atmosphere turns oppressive when the rhythm increases (which is especially notor. ious on the first track “Everlasting Fire”, that begins calmly and progressively becomes an almost suffocating Traditional Doom piece) and very subtle riffs can make you feel inside a hypnotic state of mind.
The variety between the tracks is very rich. From the very heavy “Everlasting Fire”, passing through the fading ambient on the quiet instrumental “When The Sun Lays Down”, reaching its creative climax on the extraordinary progressive-like “Among The Trees” and ending with the very epic, long and sad “The Fallen Kingdom”, “Spirits” is a MUST check for fans of blood-chilling Doom Metal. On the other hand, deep poetic lyrics are the perfect golden brooch for a master album. Highly recommended. (Online October 11, 2006)