Wow. This has got to be recorded under influence of some really weird drugs. SPIDERPACT hail from Finland and proves once again that this country is able to produce sounds far out of the ordinary. Responsible for this mindfuck is a guy called Juho Goatspeed, who, on this recording, has a little help from two guitar players but does everything else by himself. A little recherché on the internet did not deliver any results on who this mysterious guy might be, if he has another band/project/whatsoever or anything worth mentioning besides SPIDERPACT, which is interesting enough by itself. Why? If this album had been released 15 years earlier, I dare make the hypothesis that we would all be over SPIDERPACT in the AGM-forum now and that they would have been one of the main bands, if not THE main band responsible for the forming of our beloved subgenre called Avantgarde Metal.
Listening to SPIDERPACT brings back overwhelming nostalgic feelings. The first track has heavy reminiscences to the first PECCATUM-album, and I find myself wondering if Ihsahn himself could be behind this. The voice of Juho is simply beauty- and facetful (clear, which really sounds like Ihsahn, growled or screechy), and it becomes clear that he has to be a skilful composer as well. “My Goat Is Bigger Than Yours !!”, track 2 (and please! If that is not the best name for a song ever, I don’t know), we find ourselves in a mood and melodies which could be a mix between ARCTURUS (LMI) and KOROVA. The latter must have served as an example for the weird guitar and vocal parts, while the piano parts are magnificent and could have been from Sverd himself (and, yes, COVENANT/THE KOVENANT pop up in my mind as well for the same reason). The third and the fourth track (a live recording?) continue this perfectly executed mix, and it is really obvious that the first wave of Norwegian Avantgarde Metal must have been a huge influence on SPIDERPACT.
This brings me to the downsides of “Goatspeed into Magenta Vacuum”. First downside: The sound. It is good, but it could be better. And the MCD would definitely deserve it. But I’d dare say that SPIDERPACT should have the possibilities next time, for this is a collection of songs recorded throughout several years which has been remastered in 2008. Second downside: EMPEROR, ARCTURUS (especially on the 4th track), KOROVA, PECCATUM, COVENANT, IN THE WOODS, VED BUENS ENDE. There are no parts on “Goatspeed into Magenta Vacuum” which make you NOT think of one of these bands. Thus, something uniquely SPIDERPACTish is missing here. Yet, if you are a follower of the first albums of these bands, you must listen to “Goatspeed into Magenta Vacuum”. You just MUST. Do it. Don’t ask. You’ll understand. It kicks you back 15 years in time, as stated above. In a parallel universe, where these bands do not exist, SPIDERPACT are the gods of Avantgarde Metal and have set the bar to heights where other bands can hardly follow. Oh, there still is the “hidden” 23th track which really does not sound like anything else, though it’s just a piano piece. But a very good one.
Let’s conclude this. SPIDERPACT blew me away, and though I can’t help to draw lots of comparisons to the heroes of AGM I can imagine worse than being compared to them. Besides, it is all on a high technical and musical standard rather than some wannabe copy and fun listening to. I expect something big for their first album (pleasepleaseplease); with the last track they have proven that they are able to create something individual so if their own note gets integrated more we could be in for the development of the next big thing of AGM. Along came a spider (yes, I know, I had to do this) – and left a huge impression.
01 – Spit! Spider-Spit! (Aeschatonian Death-Spell)
02 – My Goat Is Bigger Than Yours !!
03 – Haunebu Jugend/ Solitudo In Excelsis/ Tinpoil Headgear
04 – Stormclad Into Nihil (Existential Penetralia)
23 – In Cells Dwell (Spirit)