Spectres – ‘Dying’

Bristol noise-freaks' debut is a deeply unsettling but utterly compelling listen

It doesn’t take much to decipher the themes Bristol’s Spectres are exploring on their debut album. The 10 songs on ‘Dying’ are as troubling as the disfigured face that adorns its sleeve. The guitar on 90-second opener ‘Drag’ is fed through effects that create the impression of an instrument ablaze, and the clanging noise beneath it sounds like the closing shutters of a crematorium furnace. ‘Where Flies Sleep’ and the morbid ‘Family’ indulge fast and heavy psychedelic noise. ‘This Purgatory’ and ‘Blood In The Cups’, both eight minutes long, showcase the quartet’s expert control of sonic light and shade. On the former, they repeat a sequence of squealing guitars and cymbal crashes to build sickening tension, and the latter matches a droning rhythm with exhilarating white noise. Closer ‘Sea Of Trees’ is as impressive, its restrained riff suddenly smothered by an almighty dirge. It’s a fitting climax to a record that unsettles from start to finish.



  • Director: Dominic Mitchison
  • Record label: Sonic Cathedral
  • Release date: 23 Feb, 2015