Spirits Of The Dead: Rumours Of A Presence

Majestic, psych-rocking third album from Norwegian wunderkinds.

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By the power of Loki and lovely beards, they've got it right again! Though not without making changes. Their last widely-praised LP The Great God Pan played heavily on their folk-rock, elf-hugging side, their third album is a heavier, harder beast.

They still capture the intellect and intrigue of prime influence Poe, and tales of death and the sea have never been so magical. Over its eight tracks, Rumours Of A Presence takes stoner, doom/metal and rock, adds ear-grabbing colour, and concocts a rich feast of psychedelic rock.

This is the stuff of weird viking dreams, roaming Scandinavian forests and introducing early Sabbath and Zeppelin to the Norse god crowd. Tracks swirl with 70s-era guitar, changeable but thoughtful progressions and original melodic flashes, creating a unique, compelling experience in Song Of Many Reefs and the atmospheric Oceanus.

Extremes are pronounced: the doomy headbanger Red Death is balanced by Golden Sun’s mellower psych-rock. Acoustic number Seaweed captures an eerie, staring-at-dark-oceans vibe and the title track mixes steely, metallic strains before reaching a saturated climax. All in all this is one bewitching brew.