Despite featuring a cover of “Dirty Women” as a bonus track, Spillage’s second album, Blood of Angels sounds more like something that Black Sabbath would’ve recorded with Tony Martin than Ozzy. There’s a grandiose character floating about as the keyboards are used to more orchestral ends, the guitars lean into more galloping patterns, and the vocals have a dramatic flair. These elements are especially present in the first half as the opening title track wouldn’t have been out of place on the most recent Candlemass album and “Free Man” puts in a splendid up-tempo swing.
However, the evolution isn’t too drastic as the style remains rooted in the Trouble-esque biker doom that defined their 2015 debut. The guitars remain the band’s driving force, showing off riffs that are as chunky as the tone carrying them, and the rhythms are often rigid while allowing for some structural flexibility. There’s also some psych influence on the album’s second half as “Disappear” and “Evil Doers” combine some loose organ with tripped out grooves while “Voice of Reason” puts in some echoing balladry.
This dynamic can make it seem like the band is torn between two styles, especially considering the lineup changes between albums, but nothing necessarily feels out of place. The guitars always have solid weight to them, and the vocals have a scratchy melodicism that suits just about every song at hand. The production also ensures consistency, offering a clean polish that reinforces the tightness while allowing each instrument to breathe. Part of me wonders if the drums should be looser or more intricate, but they are competent regardless.
I hope that Spillage’s future efforts lean more on the “power” half of their power-doom tag, but Blood of Angels is an enjoyable effort all the same. It reminds me of what Kill Devil Hill had been doing earlier in the decade with its mix of grounded grooves and grander aspirations, but the execution here is more cohesive in comparison. The band sounds more comfortable than they had on their debut, but I get the feeling that there are some transitions still being worked out. I hope they can find the spark to make something even stronger.
“Blood of Angels”