Hail Spirit Noir
Fossil Gardens


4.2
excellent

Review

by Sunnyvale STAFF
July 9th, 2024 | 47 replies


Release Date: 06/28/2024 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In which Sunnyvale hails the spirit noir

Greece’s Hail Spirit Noir have always found themselves on the boundary-pushing side of the black metal genre. And, with the possible exception of their one-off 2021 dip into synthwave (Mannequins), they’ve consistently managed to deliver via weird and wonderful LPs. But I’m not sure any of their releases to date are quite as singularly compelling as Fossil Gardens.

This album reminds me a bit of Dodheimsgard’s exceptional 2023 effort, Black Medium Current in spirit, even if the experimentation here remains a bit less far-flung. Over seven songs, Hail Spirit Noir have managed to merge their sometimes ritualistic and sometimes space-y leanings into a sense of atmosphere which elevates the record beyond simply being some pretty sweet quirky black (ish) metal. Opener “Starfront Promenade” is illustrative of the album’s success - in under five minutes, incorporating a moody ambient intro, a sinister march segment, and a final run which approximates more conventional black metal into a single song that actually makes a lot of sense. The band’s comparative brevity, while still maintaining a sense of grandeur, is a constant throughout Fossil Gardens, with the exception of ten-minute “The Road To Awe”, which is a quite satisfying epic in its own right. Even if the album seems like it should be behemoth, powering along behind the forcefully triumphant grooves of tracks like “The Temple Of Curved Space” or the closing title track, the album’s runtime is a delightfully adventurous forty-three minutes.

It probably sounds like I’m saying Fossil Gardens’ biggest strength is that it’s a fairly short album - not exactly an overwhelming selling point, even if plenty of bands in this arena could learn a thing or two from Hail Spirit Noir’s latest venture. But that’s not my point, exactly. It’s more that these Hellenes have managed to romp from idea to idea with aplomb, with nary a dull moment, and still have the listener back home for dinner. In the end, that’s what makes Fossil Gardens so fresh - it doesn’t seem like an academic exercise dedicated to infusing cool ideas into a metal album, but rather simply a very fun listen with very little fluff which also happens to be pretty damn creative while maintaining a rock-solid consistent vibe throughout the twists and turns. Pretty, pretty good.



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user ratings (61)
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2024


6028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Quick writeup for an album which very much deserves a space to talk about it

DungeonBoy
July 9th 2024


9830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice Sunny! Was waiting for a review of this so I could add a comment to Sputnikmusic.com about how awesome this is. This has some of the most black metal moments the band has ever done, while still incorporating everything that makes them stand out.

Pikazilla
July 9th 2024


30446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

really really good stuff

DungeonBoy
July 9th 2024


9830 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I loved Mayhem in Blue but a bit underwhelmed by Eden in Reverse, so this was a pleasant surprise

Veldin
July 9th 2024


5322 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Album is wonderful

Hawks
July 9th 2024


90597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lets go!!! Album slays.

StormChaser
July 9th 2024


2216 Comments


Looking forward to this one, sounds up my alley

and it being short is a pretty enticing selling point gotta say

TheTripP
July 9th 2024


4569 Comments


internet has been shite since Beryl, once it gets better will check this out for sure

Sunnyvale
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2024


6028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Cheers folks - yeah, this album rules, and has great replay value (as proven by the fact that I've felt the need to listen to it at least once a day since it dropped)

ShapeOfJizzToCum
July 9th 2024


899 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hell yeah thanks for reviewing this. Band/album needs more eyes on it for sure. Eden in Reverse was one of those I was iffy on but mostly dug enough to come back to at first and slowly became obsessed with.

someone
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2024


6758 Comments


Even their neon queer opera album was better than folks give it credit for.

Really looking forward to this one

Comatorium.
July 10th 2024


5083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Idk man these clean vocals ain’t doin it for me

Wildcardbitchesss
July 10th 2024


12668 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Review convinced me to check this, good looking out Sunny this is great shit

StormChaser
July 10th 2024


2216 Comments


3 songs in and this is pretty refreshing. is the rest of their stuff worth a listen too?

Hawks
July 10th 2024


90597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes.

InFlamesWeThrash666
July 10th 2024


10567 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Their old band Transcending Bizzare is also worth checking

Hawks
July 10th 2024


90597 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wait this is the same guys??? I've loved Transcending Bizarre? since like 2008 lol.

Pikazilla
July 10th 2024


30446 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah two core members from TB

NightOnDrunkMountain
Contributing Reviewer
July 10th 2024


701 Comments


TB and this, some of the most unique metal music from Greece

PTRKoulou
July 10th 2024


64 Comments


Idk man, upon seeing it's out I checked it out. Pretty amazing ideas throughout, but doesn't really click with me personally. Curse You, Entropia and The Blue Dot are great though. Definitely the most special sounding Greek metal, especially because the Greek scene is monolithic and boring as hell, from my experience with local bands. Y'all should check out Euphrosyne.



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