Spectral Wound – A Diabolical Thirst

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Quebecois black metal outfit Spectral Wound has finally returned with its third, highly anticipated album ‘A Diabolical Thirst‘, out via Profound Lore Records on April 16th, 2021. The highly aggressive vitriol style of this Canadian quintet bears the grim classic nature of the Norwegian black metal of the early nineties. Portraying the raw, malicious aspects of bands such as Gorgoroth, Spectral Wound once again offers a slew of raw barbed-wire riffs. The cold, wintery landscapes of snow-clad forest evoke the glory days of Scandinavian epic majesty. The band’s lineup includes Jonah Campbell (vocals), Illusory (drums), Patrick McDowall (guitars), SeanThe Highland Villain” (guitars) and Sam (bass guitar). Tonally, the newest album exude an overwhelming intensity and aggression of the old-school tremolo-picked riffs. The songs stream with the galvanic burst of snarling vocals and a dark aura that imposes an immense impact on the listener. ‘A Diabolical Thirst‘ is impersonated by a frostbitten fury that blazes through the fierce, scorching riffs. 

Drenched in mesmerizing themes, the song composition has the raw quality of Norse black metal. With an impressive entry the opening track ‘Imperial Saison Noire‘ erupts in sporadic bursts of grinding drums with the thick layers of the guitars adding a massive reverb. The subtle quality of the melodies sweeps in while the snarling vocals are carried on rapid tremolos. Spectral Wound has established itself as an entity that represent the classic sound of second wave black metal. The distinctive quality of the guitar hooks on the following track ‘Frigid and Spellbound‘ captures this grim majesty. It is brought by an amalgamation of somber melodies and acoustic guitar passages with its towering lead guitars splendidly executed. The overwhelming grandeur of the Canadian quintet manifests superb musicianship and memorability. 

‘A Diabolical Thirst‘ encloses many influences from Norwegian black metal bands like early Obtained Enslavement. These Nordic inspirations are blended into the grandeur and the majesty of their dark melodies. While the songs here are similar to the previous album, the composition showcases some of their best work to date. ‘Soul Destroying Black Debauchery‘ combines fast tempos with somber rhythms and tremolos providing raw intensity. Grim melodies flow endlessly with violent bursts of aggression. You can’t help but become fascinated by the quality of these songs. Although the subtle influences of their countrymen Fortresses are obvious when it comes to the lead guitars, Spectral Wound has its own trait in blending melodic black metal with sheer aggression. Veering straight to the mid-tempo pace ‘Mausoleal Drift‘ is heavily laden with slow thundering riffs conveying epic moments while still sounding fierce and aggressive.

Spectral Wound has managed to imbue the songs with vehemence and passion. The chilling tone of the guitars creates a haunting aura. The track is structured on slow-paced riffs and texturing tremolos that sweep back and forth. The diverse composition blends the organic sense of mid-tempo black metal, where it oscillates from slow to fast-paced riffs. This song in particular emphasizes the powerful blazing tremolos that add pitches of bleak melodies. With dark melodies coursing through its veins ‘A Diabolical Thirst‘ comes as a bold promulgation from the Quebec formation. ‘Fair Lucifer, Sad Relic‘ is packed full of fast tempos. The song is brought by a fierce energy where the music wanders into many slow moments and transitions rapidly to a blistering tempo.

Combined with slow guitar segments, the glacial blizzard of the blast beats is constantly shifting. The theme draws its aesthetics from the bleak and grim nature of the haunted forest. Although not too different from its prior release, Spectral Wound‘s musical standards continue to evolve. There are plenty of significant qualities in the guitar department. For example, the final track ‘Diabolical Immanence’ begins with thrashing guitars and the influences from the early Norwegian black metal become prominent. Malefic, evil growls infused through sharp piercing riffs, are lifted by cold guitar melodies and rapid drum beats. These moments precisely form a frigid atmosphere where the band maintains a great level of performance throughout its forty minutes duration. ‘A Diabolical Thirst‘ is a prime example of the Quebec black metal art that is evocative of nineties second wave black metal. 

Release Date: April 16th, 2021
Label: Profound Lore Records
Track list:

  1. Imperial Saison Noire
  2. Frigid and Spellbound
  3. Soul Devouring Black Debauchery
  4. Mausoleal Drift
  5. Fair Lucifer, Sad Relic
  6. Diabolical Immanence


  • Music10/10
  • Vocals/Lyrics10/10
  • Production/Packaging9/10
  • Artwork9/10
  • Originality9/10
9.4'A Diabolical Thirst' is a prime example of the Québécois black metal art that is evocative of nineties second wave black metal.
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