Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus: Spirit Knife

Puzzlingly-named Swedish psych mob bare their souls

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In the folklore of The Sword Of Truth – 14 fantasy novels penned by American author Terry Goodkind – a Spirit Knife is a magical blade.

Why Jeremy Irons & The Ratgang Malibus named album number three after that or, indeed, their band after an English thespian, we’ll never know, but what we can tell you is that this could be the most life-affirming 59 minutes of fuzz-driven psychedelia you’ll hear this year. Opening with the longest track, Fog By The Steep, sets an agenda of deep sonic exploration through the wet caves of the human soul, as wah-drenched guitars ricochet in winding tunnels of reverb and delay. Karl Apelmo’s voice is striking, his intimate confessions touching on Jeff Buckley levels of humility above the bluesy ruckus of songs like Wind Seized and Clang, as well as acoustic ballad Deep Hardened Woods. There’s a lot of retro rock kicking around at the moment, but Spirit Knife wipes the floor with the lot.

Via Small Stone

Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences. He's interviewed everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handling lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).