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It is an audacious move for Bristol-based group Spectres to title their debut album Dying. Together with the alarming cover artwork and some of the most intense guitar noise you'll hear this year, it is clear that Spectres are here to make an impression.

Dying opens with the ominous 'Drag', ninety seconds of clattering noises and howling feedback, which sets up the fuzzy and relentless 'Where Flies Are' with some impossibly noisy guitars at the end. The overloaded guitars work really well yet they don't overwhelm the song, and the overall sound of the record is a credit to producer Dominic Mitchison and the much sought after mastering skills of Sonic Boom himself.

Spectres' uptempo material is pretty thrilling, especially when they ramp up the noise like they do on songs like 'Mirror' and 'Sink' – two fast and furious tunes that have a melodic side to them as well.

A version of 'The Sky Of All Places' came out through the Too Pure Singles Club last year and now it has been re-recorded for this album. It is one of the more conventional tunes here, with its strong melody line and vocals higher in the mix.

Although this album is released by Sonic Cathedral, all of the band's other output has appeared on their own Howling Owl label which is still very much a going concern. The other main act on that label is Oliver Wilde, and he provides backing vocals on 'Family', a song which has been given a fresh new pummelling here, three years after it was the debut release on Howling Owl.

Whilst both those older tunes illustrate that Spectres have a gift for songwriting, the rest of Dying shows that they have begun to develop a good understanding of how to work with noise and atmospheres. The seven-minute 'This Purgatory' is a centrepiece of the album – they bring the pace way down and build a bleak, moody song around howling feedback and a deliberately meandering vocal. It is far from an easy listen but it is fascinating. 'Blood in the Cups' maintains that tension with a menacing pulse of guitars over a steady and deliberate rhythm, and an insistent yet minimal melody line.

They push the boundaries of their sound on 'Lump' as well, messing with the time signatures and adding more and more layers of noise, yet somehow this also manages to be one of the catchiest songs here.

The stunning closing track, the epic 'Sea of Trees' is the best possible way to finish Dying. It is deceptively melodic until the feedback kicks in. The song is buried beneath it for a rhythm-less white noise section which lasts for a couple of minutes before vanishing as quickly as it came, and the song continues as if nothing happened. Yes of course it's the same trick as My Bloody Valentine's 'You Made Me Realise', but not enough bands pull tricks like this and in this context it works well.

Although there are many revivalist bands being tagged as shoegaze and psych-rock, none of them are using their music as an aural assault weapon in the way Spectres are. Dying may appear to have a ominous bleakness about it on the surface, but it soon becomes clear that this is an urgent, cathartic and downright exciting listen.

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