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The Spectre Beneath – The Downfall of Judith King

The Spectre Beneath
The Downfall of Judith King
by John Paul Romero at 09 November 2019, 9:22 PM

THE SPECTRE BENEATH is a Power-Prog trio that hails from England, composed of guitarist Pete Worrall, drummer Consta Taylor, and the mysterious L. Lockser on vocals. Last September, they debuted with their 10-track concept album “The Downfall of Judith King” – an album influenced heavily by classic horror and science fiction.

Three words can describe this album – intense, immersive, and eventful. They really gave it their all in terms of production, even if there are only three instrumentalists (including Luke C M for additional guitars) for all the instruments. The energy is flowing aggressively right from the opening moments, and seamlessly transitioned to a rather low-heat, slow burning tracks in the latter half. The main sources of fire in the album are the guitars – both lead and rhythms, and the drums. They took off ablaze filled with immense energy. The story of the album was narrated flawlessly, thanks to the excellent arrangement of the tracks.

However, even having said that, this album comes along with a couple of flaws that are simply too painful – considering the high level of performances they have put on. First of my concerns is how L. Lockser’s vocals are WAY above the mix. She has a tremendous voice, and that might have made them want to showcase it so much –but that was the same reason why there was a chaos in the frontline. Her voice being over the top made an impression that she was trying to silence the guitars and drums – which are both on full strength and might being the thunder and lightning in the scene. Next is the length of the songs. One hour is not too bad for a Progressive Metal band – and in this album, ten tracks contributed to that total play time. However, because of the dense nature of the songs, 5-minute tracks appear to be longer than they are – and this thing will surely turn off new comers. Lastly, it also flopped when it comes to memorability. There are songs in the albums that are certified head-bang-ables, but at the end of it, you’ll hardly remember anything.

With all that was said, it is really hard to justify that this album is an excellent release. On the other hand, it is also too unfair to call it a bad one. It has really engaging moments, but all those are cancelled out by its flaws. Fortunately, this is just their first album and we can expect them to grow further in the near future. They have all the tools they need, the only thing they have to do is how to properly utilize it.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 2
Production: 8

2 Star Rating

1. There Are Cameras in the Dolls
2. Teach Yourself Guitar (Step 2)
3. As the Crows Peck at Your Bones
4. The Downfall of Judith King
5. Mrs. Lovett’s Pies
6. Fragmented
7. The Birth of Judith King
8. The Plotting of Judith King
9. The Abduction of Olivia Soams
10. The Questioning of Olivia Soams
L. Lockser – Vocals
Pete Worrall – Guitars/Piano/Bass
Consta Taylor – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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