Touch the Spider! - _Dead@Last_
(WhereAreYouFrom Records, 2011)
by: Chaim Drishner (7 out of 10)
The unheralded German duo Touch the Spider! is apparently already a well established band, having already three albums in its recording history. The band's sound is a welcome addition to the array of styles dwelling in the darker side of music, however it quite successfully manages to dodge the pigeonholing, the categorization, the scrutiny -- at least by this reviewer -- because _Dead@Last_ wears many faces and none at all.

Ignore for a moment the hideously horrendous cover and layout of the album's artwork (or lack thereof) and listen to the music. If you succeed in this, what will happen is that the music will suck you in like a vacuum cleaner does to a speck of dust; its Neanderthal, occult, hollow sounds will grab your attention and hold, for Touch the Spider!, despite the many faults its music suffers from, despite its amateurish execution and the oh-so-very linear and predictable songwriting skills, has captured a sound which is the essence of the occult, a blueprint to all that is mysterious and esoteric.

The doom rock executed on _Dead@Last_ sounds like a more rock-ish, less metallic a version of Eyes of Ligeia, the American unique doom/death one-man project; hollow, empty, miserable, dark yet ironically profound. On the other hand, the band sort of adopted a sound often attributed to Italian gothic/doom bands such as Abysmal Grief; velvety dark, ominous, wretched yet extremely melodic, with that hermetic, religious (Christian) vibe to it.

The music, when clicked and being registered by the listener with its primordial, laid-back, quasi-industrial enigmatic sound, its Eighties vibe, its esoteric ambiance and the whole not-quite-right, yet engaging approach, is like listening to something that makes you almost cringe yet generates in you such an enormous amount of curiosity you simply cannot but further listen and explore, explore and listen...

It's like a synergistic experience, listening simultaneously to a myriad of sounds, styles, genres and tastes, all fused into a single entity; from proto-doom to gothic, horror or death rock; from metal to post-punk, industrial to new wave; from Black Sabbath through Paradise Lost's _Gothic_ to Bauhaus; one synergistic style where all the above mentioned have room and a permission to speak in one voice, one tongue, a unified style and sound, indivisible.

With _Dead@Last_ the band has established a unique, if not bizarre, occult sound, stripped of mannerism or pomposity; no jaw-dropping musicianship nor neck-wrecking virtuosity have been utilized here. Be careful before you pass any judgment upon this album, as did this reviewer, almost knee-jerkily dismissing it for being too "hollow", "empty" or just too mundane -- it is not.

Contact: http://www.touchthespider.de/

(article published 9/30/2011)


ALBUMS
5/2/2010 S Martin 7 Touch the Spider! - Tales of Woe
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