Slow and ponderous riffs might have been a founding element of doom metal, but the same founding institutions of the genre who cranked out these iconic, lumbering riffs also had a penchant for the exact opposite: exuberant, melodic driving passages that were anything but slow. While leaning into only the former side has produced tons of iconic bands, there's a special place in my heart for metal that deals in both the fast and the slow while excelling at both. New York's Restless Spirit had a good grasp on this already with their 2019 debut full-length Lords of the New Depression, but their upcoming album Blood of the Old Gods shows a progression from more stoner-rooted heaviness to a turbo-charged, all-inclusive extrapolation of Sabbathian doom with a vicious character and an absolute monopoly on righteous riffs across all tempos, shapes, and sizes. Check out the video for the track "Cascade Immolator" now, which, within literally seconds, demonstrates just how well the band executes their take on dynamic heavy metal.

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Opening up with a crushing, sludgy hook, the song nearly immediately introduces a melodic lick at odds with the nastiness of said hook, as if posing a counterpoint to the initial musical statement. This contrast then resolves into a double-time, devastatingly precise passage that calls back to the best of the early 2000s retro-metal offerings like Restless Spirit's stated influence The Sword, but given a menacing sheen thanks to the murkier tones at play here. Dashed with just a hint of progressive zest, the song highlights Restless Spirit's ability to lean into bouncy, explosive rhythms and then fall back into slower cadences without losing momentum. With a huge, roomy drum sound and layers of guitar feedback echoing in the background, it's a song with a big atmosphere to match its big riffs and some subtle tricks up its sleeve: I especially dig how the vigorous rhythm riffs are often accompanied by slower, ethereal harmonies that float over the mayhem like sonic fog.

Blood of the Old Gods draws from the past but it also puts a massively different spin on Restless Spirit's sound, highlighting their melodic and technical prowess while also sharpening and corroding their attack. The accompanying video, set in an abandoned airfield, is a fairly accurate summary: from the bones of the past springs new blood, rust-stained upstarts ready to uphold traditions but have fun doing so.

From the band:

We are incredibly excited to introduce our new video for "Cascade Immolator" - this is our return statement and a great taste for what's to come. With the words "I found out you were a snake once you bit me", the new album is summed up completely. It's about the realization when the people surrounding you are not who you thought they were. It's as simple as that. The video was a blast and shot in two days. Of course, on the first day we were chased off by a number of cops and oversized pickup trucks because we were trespassing. On the second, a plane attempted to land where we were playing on an old air field that isn't supposed to be in use anymore - I guess he didn't get the memo, and unfortunately, the plane did not land and we lived. The video is about rocking. That's it.

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Blood of the Old Gods will release December 10th via Lifesblood Records.

Restless Spirit is wrapping up their fall tour with a final date in Louisville, Kentucky today (10/7/2021) at Mag Bar.