It’s crazy how much people will fight about metal over the Internet. People or bands aren’t true or cult enough, they don’t take things seriously enough (or take it too seriously), and/or they either should be or should not be a part of the circle. Hey, guys, what happened to metal being a release?
There are some people who haven’t forgotten the power and infectious energy that metal can bring. One of those people is Chris Black, and he’s done that with his band High Spirits, as true an essence of this style of music as there is. Long before people were trading insults on Facebook, there were bands that worshipped the riff and didn’t focus all of their energy on making their music so serious. They took the music creation very seriously, but lyrically, things could be spreads out over fantasy elements, strengthening oneself, or even the power of the night. Black’s never forgotten that with High Spirits, and you can hear that in abundance on the band’s killer new record “Motivator.” Is that ever a fitting title as well, because after hearing this, you’re bound to be driven to leave the house and just go do something, anything, to make a difference. It’s pure metal through and through.
Black’s name has become well known within metal, and for good reason. He was the brains behind Nachtmystium’s best work, and his other band Dawnbringer also burns the fires for traditional metal, albeit in a different way than what he does with High Spirits. That’s not to mention his work elsewhere with band such as Pharaoh, Superchrist, and a few others. When the band expands to the live stage, Black is joined by guitarists Scott Hoffman and Mike Bushur, bassist Bob Scott, and drummer Ian Sugierski in order to bring these songs to the place where they were born to be heard.
The record opens with “Up and Overture,” a quick intro piece that leads into the burst of “Flying High,” as energetic a song as you probably will find anywhere. The riffs charge, and the whole thing is fairly simplistic but really fun. “Close your eyes and let your spirit rise,” Black urges, with the music hammering home his message. This is catchy and filled with hooks, and that blows into “This Is the Night,” another one that drives full bore into your chest. “We are the future,” Black wails, “There is no turning back!” The soloing is scorching and powerful, and this feels like a dose of 1980s glory jammed right into your heart. “Reach for the Sky” has power-packed guitars, a giant harmonized chorus, and Black packing his anthem with get-off-your-ass motivation, howling, “Go for the fortunes, whatever they are.” “Do You Wanna Be Famous?” sounds cheeseball from its title, but fuck it, like everything else on here, it’s coated in metal magic. This cut feels like something out of a decades-past slasher flick, something that would burst from the stereo of the main protagonist’s car.
“Haunted By Love” has a simple, driving drum beat, riffs unfurling, and Black on and on about a muse he relentlessly seeks with, “Like a ghost in the night, I’m haunted by a love that will never die.” “Down the Endless Road” is a prefect song for this record and this band, with one’s dusty travels taking the center view, a classic on-the-road storyteller that’s woven into metal’s fabric. This feels like a long-lost Headbangers Ball staple in the best possible way. “Take Me Home” blasts out of the gates, with all juices flowing, and another huge blast of power. Imagery of flying through the sky on another journey gets the blood going, while massive soloing brings the sense of heavy lightning to the track. Closer “Thank You” is about what you think it’s about. This is an overflowing brew tribute to the people who helped this band be what they are, with Black insisting, “You are the power, you know, that drives us down the road.” It’s the perfect finish to a record that’s energy is undeniable.
It’s fine to let shit go and shelf the animosity for five minutes to remember the glory of heavy metal that was born when the first seeds pushed through the Earth. High Spirits pay homage to that time and put their own stamp on it with “Motivator.” This is music to play in the car with the windows down, your adrenaline flowing, and you believing there is still magic in the nighttime. This music will help you go out and grab that.
For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/highenergyrock
To buy the album, go here: http://www.hrrshop.de/
For more on the label, go here: https://www.hrrecords.de/