The Spirit That Guides Us – Innocent Blood


Despite this being the eight release by The Spirit That Guides Us (TSTGU) (5 albums, 3 EP’s), the band never knew a permanent line-up. With their new album the band wanted to change things and searched for permanent members. It resulted in a few changes within the band: it led to the arrival of a new vocalist, a new bass player and two new guitarists. And as so often is the case then: new faces bring a different sound along.

TSTGU plays music that somewhat holds the middle between post-hardcore and shoegaze. Or as the band calls it: hardgazer.The ten songs dance between haunted, restless panic and rustic, acoustic passages. They are full of contrasts and contain layers with progressive and daring excesses, dissonant guitars and a discord between worked up and clean vocals. Perfect examples of this you will find in opener ‘Demons & Diamonds’, ‘Echoes From The Grave’, ‘Third World War’ and ‘Truth Or Dare’. In ‘Rip Out Your Heart’ and closure ‘Remember’ the album holds two more tranquil tracks, where the listener can recover one’s breath… in case of ‘Rip Out Your Heart’ right in time before the band pulls you under in another wave of musical turbulence. The songs are about hard themes such as human trafficking, sexual exploitation and oppression. No themes that you quietly put aside, but which deserve to be attended by some requisite screaming.

The tracks are not easy to digest and ask the necessary effort, patience and time of the listener. The album needs multiple listens before all layers of the album will reveal itself. But whether most people can and will take that time, remains to be seen. The shrieking and the feeling that the band musically goes all over the place require a great deal from the listener. And I would therefore not be surprised if there are people that have dropped out before the album even had a full spin.

If you love music that is easy accessible, feel free to skip this ‘Innocent Blood’. But when you like your music to be more complicated and like it when a band tries a musical experiment? Take your time and let the beauty of ‘Innocent Blood’ reveal itself to you…

Rating: 80/100

Written by Patrick

Label: Sally Forth Records / 2011

Track list:
1. Demons & Diamonds
2. Echoes From The Grave
3. Third World War
4. Meltdown
5. Rip Out Your Heart
6. This Is How We Demonstrate
7. Truth Or Dare
8. Stranger
9. Pride, Erase & Rewind Genocide
10. Remember

Bas van Nienes – vocals
Erik van Winkelhoff – vocals (screams)
Stefan van Maurik – guitars
Jeroen van der Werken – guitars
Wouter Muller – bass
Minco Eggersman – drums

Related articles:
Interview with ‘The Spirit That Guides Us'{Erik] [Oct. 2011]

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