The Spectre Beneath - The New Identity of Sidney Stone
(S/R – 2020)
By rights I should have probably been warned that any band whose Facebook page picture depicts a large bunny angling a double barrelled shotgun in your direction might sound potentially threatening.
Runcorn melodic metal combo, The Spectre Beneath sound nearly as scary as James Bond's arch enemies to start and although they keep at it throughout all of their debut album they have different ways of serving it shaken not stirred. Tightened thrash guitars set the scene in a pleasing hybrid of Slayer and Stratovarius styled elements and give chase at an amiable variety of speeds, albeit mostly fast.
Centred around Guitarist, Pete Worrall, formerly of thrash acts 'Bleak Exist' & 'Plague And The Decay, the sound deviates from his past machine, not least because of the lush female lead vocals sonarising over these eleven songs. 'Clockwork Heart', 'Voice in the Static', 'Have You Waited For The World To Change', 'Last Light In A House', 'The Criminal' and 'The Phone Call' are certainly not the sounds of a band stuck in any rut.
Doom, grunge, symphonic and gothic inspirations shine by turn right from start to end along this conceptual workout. Licensed to kill any doubts you might have, The Spectre Beneath certainly fascinate on their first long player with the artwork already there itself to attract you to the content.
By Dave Attrill
RECOMMENDED IF YOU LIKE: Nightwish, Rhapsody of Fire & Evanescence.