Restless Spirit – Blood of the Old Gods (Lifesblood Records 2021)

You should really be warned from the start that the new album by Restless Spirit “Blood of the Old Gods” is a beast. The trio from New York has created an album that easily looks eye to eye with bands like Mastodon, High on Fire and Psychonaut. There are brilliant vocal melodies throughout, with intelligent riffs and grooves that demonstrate the band’s musicianship.

The album kicks off with “The Betrayer”, a short instrumental track that eases you in for the storm that’s about to follow. And as every beast needs a head, “Judgment and Exile” is a powerhouse that puts meat in the flesh of an Ozzy-fronted Mastodon. Up next comes the “Crooked Timber of Humanity”, a sludgy behemoth that strides the paths once crossed by bands like Olde and Down.

In what feels like the start of the album’s second part, “The Reclaimer” is another short instrumental track that gives you a breather before “Cascade Immolator” takes over. Massive guitars that roar like a herd of lions, while the rhythm section of Jon and Marc holds its ground, providing the backbone for one of Paul’s best vocal performances on the album. And before you get a minute, the self-titled “Blood of the Old Gods” enters with a relentless groove that will get you up and have you headbanging, because you never really had a chance not to.

The last song of the album is “Haunted” and sounds like a chapter in itself. The vocal melodies are again catchy like hell, while the three musicians shift gears with remarkable ease, between massive riffs of sludge and prog parts with killer guitar solos, brilliant bass lines and masterful drumming.

In all, if this is your first encounter with the band, there is no doubt that you will go looking for more in their back catalogue. In “Blood of the Old Gods” the band have surpassed themselves, delivering their best work to date!

Words by Ioannis Valiakos

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