Of Spire & Throne are a doom sludge act from Edinburgh, Scotland. Playing more in a style associated with United States doom/sludge style but it is a breath of fresh air to see more traction across the globe of music in this vein. The EP, “Toll of the Wound”, is available currently in the United States via their label Broken Limbs coming out on all varieties of media, CD, vinyl, and cassette.
“Toll of the Wound” consists of three gloriously length tracks opening with ‘Legacy’. This opener gives us an immediate taste of what is to come, slow, deliberate, low end, music in short all the parts of sludge that are needed and necessary to pummel the chest of the listener. Adding in the right amount of fuzz to accentuate the growls and howls of vocalist Ali Lauder. This being a trio, which construct some of the most amazing low end sounding metal around, has Ali on vocals and guitars, Graham Stewart on drums and Matt Davies rounds the band out on bass.
‘Tower of Glass’, starts in on ambient mixes in the background with a slow snare accompaniment. Each instrument is slowly layered and constructed over the next in succession. Give a raw gritty start to the shortest of the tracks. By the time Davies drops in we are hooked in the haunting realm created by a few simple chords and snare patterns. Beauty in simplicity edges through this track, in the same way a black charcoal drawing can evoke emotions of beauty and horror when penned by an appropriate artist. This one draws on a more ambient nature and lets the instruments weave their tentacles around the listener, there is no need for vocals here. Fear and despair are perfect carved in our soul from three instruments and the imagination of the these three lads. Hauntingly beautiful track.
‘Cascading Shard’, the longest of the three rounds out “Toll of the Wound”. More mid temp, relatively speaking, and not full of fuzz from the onset, this one likes to move slowly around the listener almost like a dancing mist swirls until you are engulfed. Without warning you are trapped in a fog of confusion and hopeless, with only Lauder’s vocals to serve as anchor points. Do not dismiss slow tempo for lack of imagination or talent, this one reaches out and grabs your heart in its icy fingers, and does not let go. To be honest, you crave more when it fades away.
A powerful release of sludge/doom style sound from Scotland. Only an EP, it leaves us breathless and wanting more. There really isn’t more to expect from a release, if one is glad its over that is never a good sigh, when the listener wants more and more, that is a testament to the universe created by the artist that we were allowed to exist in if only for a fleeting amount of time. Of Spire & Throne crafted a gem of a release, a testament to what a trio in metal can and should do musically. I only hope that their tour plans include some United States venues, so I can experience them live.