Released: 2003, Mausoleum Records
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen
Here´s a straight quote from the info kit for Spirit Web that came along with the CD: “Spirit Web is a Power Metal band who´s members consist of a number of veteran musicians stemming from some well known metal bands from the Chicago area, including: Syris, Slauter Xtroyers, Dark Ages, Stonehenge, Winterkill, Stygian, The Energy Vampires, Habitual Ritual, The Lords of Metal and Michael Angelo´s Nitro”.
The band released their debut album through their own label Stentorian Records in 2001 which was licensed to Belgian Mausoleum Records a bit later. This Mausoleum –edition contains also two bonus tracks (“Dream Never Ending” and “Blind Faith”) that the band decided to record exclusively for this licensed version of their album only. And I´m glad this license deal happened between the band and the legendary Heavy Metal label Mausoleum Records; otherwise I doubt whether I could ever have got a hold of this album that indeed sounds amazingly good.
Spirit Web sounds pretty much like many of those known pre-Speed/Power Metal acts in the mid´80s; now I´m referring to bands like Helstar, Griffin, Liege Lord and the likes – even if Spirit Web comes up with a more up-dated and modern sound (a band like Sanctuary comes to my mind…). Their music varies and takes different shapes constantly from faster tempo, somewhat tricky tunes (check out “Seeping Shadows”) to more lengthy, almost epic songs (“Cut You Loose” clocks in near by 7-minutes or “Once Beyond” which reaches almost a 9-minute line in lenght) and the songs are basically build up around lots of killer riffs and hooks and tend to be very progressive all the time; and especially the band´s vocalist Scott Hufmann proves to one hell of a lung stretcher. If you have heard Scott´s previous band Syris at all, then you obviously know what to expect from him on this Spirit Web´s damn catchy yet very much refreshing album. Scott is definitely one of the best metal vocalists around these days in my opinion at least. He´s, to be said it as simpliest way as possible, just truly amazing. No doubt, he´s a well-trained and experienced metal vocalist who´s able to use all nuances of his voice perfectly when singing songs. However, Spirit Web´s ´true specialities´ seem to be relatively long instrumental sections within their songs that have been done with a good enough taste and imagination and not the way like they could only work out as some sort of fillers for the songs. You only have to listen to the 9th song called “Days of Nowhere” off the album in order to realize this fact, too. A bit odd, but still positive thing is, in my opinion that even if the album is 80-minutes long, it never just gets boring at all. Listening to the album´s 13 songs in a row, was an exceptionally pleasant and entertaining task to do indeed. We clearly need to thank the guys´ sheer talent and skills to come up with this strong and nicely turning out material for their album; it´s really appealing and gives you some good, guaranteed vibes if you happen to be into both technical playing style and just let their metal flow without any interruptions while you listen to virtuoso-like playing of these great musicians.
A rather uncompromising stuff it is what can be tracked from the Spirit Web´s tightly and skillfully played self-titled album after all, so I assume some of you may well want to check them out. This band kicks ass… both seriously and successfully indeed.