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spiral69 ghostinmyeyes
Artist: Spiral 69
Title: Ghost In My Eyes
Genre: Electronic Rock
Release Date: 25th April 2013
Label: Helikonia

Album Review

Reading the biography of SPIRAL 69 it is a bit odd and opaque that the Italian outfit built around Riccardo Sabetti isn’t that big name throughout the contemporary alternative/ dark music landscape yet. Leaving the omphalos in 2007 the spiral grew relentlessly, conquering distances with two highly acclaimed albums so far (2009/2011), tireless touring through Europe (highlighted by appearances at the mandatory Wave Gotik Treffen and the Children of Night Fest in Kiev) and collaborations with names like THE SPIRITUAL FRONT, TYING TIFFANY or even LOU REED (who choose one of their songs for the soundtrack of his debut movie ‘Red Shirley’). And despite all that there was still enough energy left for the work on new songs, culminating in ‘Ghosts In My Eyes’, what reached the light of the world a few weeks ago. Produced by Steve Hewitt (Placebo, Love Among Ruins) and mixed by Paul Corkett (The Cure, Placebo, Nick Cave) it wouldn’t be a great surprise if this output would push the band´s name a few lines higher on several festival billings.

But let´s put all those names aside for focussing on the essence – the music and it´s anatomy in the current eight tracks of the album. ‘Waves’ opens the album’s “eyes” with spherical synthesized layers, exuding a dark and menacing mood on which the vocals are chanting in before drums, bass and guitars join the scenery for unfolding a gloomy landscape, dominated by Sabetti´s yearning and lacerated vocals, hitting the ragged coastline with distortion and words full of pain of despair. ‘New Life’ attracts with an infecting rhythm and great atmospheric guitars, paving the way for the “on top of world, down in the dumps” self-reflection in timbre and lyric, unfortunately for running into an inappropriate jazzy chorus, whose chord pattern seems to familiar and predictable. Clean guitars and gentle piano tunes welcome you to ‘No Heart’, a pleasing ballad, coloured in bitter-sweet melancholy and emotional fragility. (Maybe you should note that the albums engineer was also involved in THE CURE´s ‘Wild Mood Swings’ album, whereon that track wouldn’t be too much out of space).

‘Fake Love’ combines the acoustic clearness of its predecessor with the edgy energy of the album´s beginning, for creating a bastard of aggressive vulnerability, a piece of effective tension and emotive density. The stomping drums, the psychedelic keyboard layers and weirdly shreds of distorted guitars in combination with the vocals edited timbre and attitude make ‘Dirty’ prove that sometimes nomen est omen. Evocative of some of the latter outputs of Mr Brian Warner, this track changes the path completely. Lacking any perceptible melodic harmony it is a dirty blade of strain and energy, a distorted ulcer, breaking the prevailing mood ruthlessly. ‘Please’ tames the (necessary) storm again. Pillowed on electronic splatters and light-flooded strings Sabetti finds the way back to an emotional clamour, always blurring the borders between vigorous lament and melancholic desire. A throwback track, cementing the albums main atmosphere. (Additionally Sabetti chose ‘Please’ for extracting it as a single, which endows you with an acoustic version of the song, whose stripped down version and conspicuously divergent colour of sound seems to embraces a vastly more intensive density than it´s “electronic” twin!)

‘Low Suicide’ fits seamlessly in the incumbent sentiment, linking a danceable rhythm to a sentimental timbre and an emotional soundscape, made of layers of synthesizers and spherical guitars. The album closes with the title track, a silky veil of vocals and piano, enhancing to a heart-bleeding sentimental climax, conformingly garnished with a sonic fragility and gloopy sweet strings. Let´s cross the bottom line: ‘The Ghosts In My Eyes’ is a well-done piece of work, whose core perfectly blends electronic and rock music and keeps skilfully the balance between emotiveness and energy, avoiding to fall into those traps the combination of electronic and emotion frequently entails. A few more breakaways like ‘Dirty’ would have been adjuvant for widening the album´s atmospheric orbit, circling a bit too close around the main mood of melancholic despair and emotive revolt, but if you´re mentally into this it´s a great score for pleasing and enjoyable gloomy pictures on your mind´s screen.


01. Wave
02. New Life
03. No Heart
04. Fake Love
05. Dirty
06. Please
07. Low Suicide
08. Ghosts In My Eyes
09. Please (acoustic)


Riccardo Sabetti – Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Synthesizers
Licia Missori – Piano
Enzo Russo – Guitars
Andrea Freda – Drums


Cover Picture

spiral69 ghostinmyeyes


Music: 7
Sound: 7
Total: 7 / 10

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