The chaotic collective known as Spintria returns with their invocation to the god of wine, festivities and ritual madness, Bacchus. The album, Bacchanalia, is named after an ancient Roman festival dedicated to the god of wine him self. During said festival is the ritualistic consumption of wine, sex, and any other Earthly delight that crosses the mind. But one important factor in this festival was the loud and one can only imagine, chaotic, music that played during these festivities. With this album, Spintria recaptures that very essence of the festival its self and brings it back to life in the modern day with incredible guitar work, drumming, keyboards and mind bending saxophone work by guest artist Colin Fisher.
If you’re familiar with Spintria’s previous release, you’d understand that this isn’t like any other album out there. One can’t simply attach a genre label to this and say it fits perfectly. The two main elements I feel on this release are certainly jazz and drone. There’s more of a musical build up and lets the listener prepare for the bombardment of beautiful noise being thrown at you left and right. There’s a term in ancient Rome, bakkheia, that defines the manic frenzy one feels when they are possessed by Bacchus him self. This album captures that very feeling. Manic, chaotic, yet certainly in control.
The first track of the album I feel is as good build up and preparation for the second half. There’s a slow build up with these angular guitar parts and disjointed drumming that grows larger and larger as the layers of instruments begin to build. The guitars and drums sitting right in the foreground of the track, really providing a hard edge to the ethereal and almost nightmarishly twisted keyboards that are softly chiming in the background, really building up a soft sense of dread as it all comes to a forceful wall of sound right in the middle of the track. But, I feel the album truly shines on the second half when introducing the saxophone to the mix. The ancient Romans had a horn like instrument named the Cornu, a droning instrument that struck fear in the heart of those who opposed Roman armies, but were also present during festivals such as Bacchanalia. The saxophone here, of course a modern day descendant, adds another dynamic to the album that I feel like was very much needed. There’s more of an organic and naturalistic feel with how its played and the sheer force and emotion that is put into the instrument here takes the track to the next level. There is one part of the second track I must point out. A beautiful shock to the system, right when you figure the track is calming down, drifting you into a false sense of safety with calming yet mysterious keyboards, chaotic yet precise drumming, and introspective guitar noodling, the track yanks you right back into the party with an incredibly powerful wall of sound that can easily shock you if you’re not prepared. Simply genius. Its easy to describe how the latter half of the track, towards the end as things are winding down with this dark saxophone that makes you reflect on the aftermath of what you just experienced. Quite a powerful way to end an album for sure.
Spintria is more than just a band. Its an experience. I must be honest and say I have never really heard anything quite like it. Its strange, twisted, dark, and a little quirky at times that gives it a fantastic allure that no other modern act is really putting out. They really gave it their all here and created something that the god of wine him self would be proud of and would most certainly have apart in his ritualistic festivals. I listened to this album in chunks, really taking in each part and trying to comprehend it all, but that would drive anyone mad. There’s a lot to unpack here and I know the more I listen to this the more I fall in love with this album more than I already do. I highly recommend everyone to check this album out even if its off-putting at first. Its like a musical exercise I’m sure for both the musicians and the listener as afterwards you feel rewarded and relieved you survived Bacchanalia.