Spillage - Spillage

(CD, Qumran Records, 2015)

You simply know that an album is a labor of pure love when you’ve heard countless times that is - still - on the making, but the release date is (still) getting close. You see, nowadays making money out of music has become a luxury and really only the dinosaur bands are able to make a profit without even entering the studio. So, it is up to the listener to filter all these bands and albums and wisely choose the ones who are worthy of his attention and eventually his money. I am happy to say that SPILLAGE have long before passed all my filters and quality checks after having watched the band live and have witnessed how the songs inside their debut and self-titled LP behave from the stage. Because, no matter what a band does inside the studio, the stage is the ultimate place to get judged, so lend me your attention to present my humble verdict.

The subtle Hammond-organ sounding keyboards open the album with “The Darkness” in a moody kind of way that breathes the '70s air full of nostalgia but this only last for a while because the guitar distortion brings Metal into the spotlight. Yeah, the way the rhythm section gets builds up and gains momentum will make you think of traditional Doom Metal norms and since the band is Chicago-based, then throwing the name of the almighty TROUBLE on the influences table is more than granted. After all, if you check the album’s credits, then you will come across the name of Bruce Franklin and if this does not ring any heavy (Doom) bells, then you must have been living under a rock or you have just started listening to this music. Either way, you should make plans to make up for all this wasted listening time... The album opener passes the baton to “Live In Fear” and really it feels like you’re walking on the same path with the previous one with additional heaviness and a killer guitar solo that kicks the door down after the bass has smoothened the way. By the way, the production of the album smells like analog recording from miles away (I’ll be shocked if I am mistaken) with an awesome natural sound, giving you the impression that you’re listening the band playing inside your living room. Somewhere close to the middle of the song, there is a fantastic break with an awesome guitar arpeggio that after a while takes a step back to let solo to sweeten the deal in an almost epic way. Mind you, “Spillage” requires more listening time to reveal all those details that may go unnoticed during the first and most of the time fast-food auditions most of us have adopted in the futile attempt to check all the new music.

Traditional Doom Metal also means BLACK SABBATH and I’ll use my album favorite “The Road” as the strongest piece of evidence. In full disclosure, I may have spotted some MERCYFUL FATE finishing touches, especially in the part where Lothar Keller is pushing his singing to those higher pitches. No matter the references (these are only to help one describe the music he is listening to), this in an epic one with an abundance of guitar leads and double harmonies. The slow break with the subtle keyboards and the guitar solo opens the door and for the type of nostalgia every Doom Metal lover is most eager to welcome and embrace. “In Hell” gets on SPILLAGE’s evil side starting things off with Church Organ sounding keyboards and deeper singing that goes hand in hand with the another granite-solid rhythm section and some hearty dose of double-bass drumming. In fact, the keyboards deserve more credit for the atmosphere they build throughout this one fitting the heavy guitars like a tailored suit. The cover on Cliff Richard’s “Devil Woman” is the less evil song of the album (pun intended) but is still most enjoyable as it perfectly reflects the musical roots of SPILLAGE that around Metal bounded.

As I have written in the past, having all these music being released is a double-edged sword because: a) there is more music for us to choose from, and b) many great albums may get lost under the huge pile of new releases seeing the light of day in a non-stop rate. So, don’t let the SPILLAGE debut go by, especially if you like going back to the Doom Metal roots and from time to time to nourish your need for the '70s music-making.





01. The Darkness
02. Live In Fear
03. The Road
04. Call It Freedom
05. In Hell
06. Insomnia
07. Devil Woman
08. Land Of Opportunity
09. We Are


Willie Max - Bass
Chris Martins - Drums
Nick Bozidarevic - Guitar
Tony Spillman - Guitar
Lothar Keller - Vocals