SPANCER (Greater Than The Sun) CD

When this CD arrived in my mailbox, I was not sure if I was the right guy to review this. I am not the man who listens to MEAN and EXTREME Doom. Not everyday. And more seldom these days than when I first started to listen to everything that the slow movement in heavy music had to offer. Sure, I dig some Grief every now and then, bought Sourvein and Thorr's Hammer and was torturing normal metalhead's ears with Burning Witch on big festivals like Wacken back in the days.... when all that shit was less trendy than it seems to be these days. Seems like a different time to me. No matter what though...Spancer always deserve a good listen. For some good and some selfish reasons.

They are fellow country mates. I have seen them live and must say that their two-bass-just-one-guitar-sound is impressive. Although I must admit, that they are more impressive on stage than on CD. But hell, I dig the production. It sounds a bit old school, less in your face, less "we-use-an-extreme-production-cause-our-music-is-so-extreme" as some of the newer sludge bands would prefer. I dig that a lot. And I enjoy the songs. I must admit that the beginning of 'The Great Saint Equaling Heaven' with its drones and feedback is not exactly my glass of beer, but the song develops into the right direction. Being slow, heavy and extreme as it has to be, the band balances on the line between heavy as shit and boring as fuck without falling to the wrong side. Especially when the song becomes faster you can count me in. Because after approximately 10 minutes the track finally changes to a more rocking direction with some groovy doom-riffs, reminding me of Earthride or maybe Electric Wizard in a very pleasant manner.

The rather short 'Those Once Lost – Godhead' (the song does not even reach the 8 minutes mark) continues with a nice change between groovy Sludge and slow motion. This got the reviewer rocking in his chair more than once. 'Agent Sirus' starts out as a more psychedelic rocker, due to the wah-wah sound and is not worser than its predecessor. I must say this is my fave on the album. It has everything I need to get real happy with this kind of Doom. There is no real slowness, there are great recognizable riffs and some groove and there is even something like harmonic vocals where Markus' screams meet some deeper cleaner singing. '(Like A) Phoenix' is already the last song. It starts out more typical for a Sludge band, but not bad or boring in any way while in the later half the wah-wah infected groovy riffs return. And the sample at the end is rather funny. Spancer have earned their spot...and not only as the genre-leaders in Germany. Get this or something is missing in your collection.

(Thorsten Frahling)