Artist: Spi Ritual
   Title: Pulse
   Label: Sensory Dark

'Pulse' is the follow up to the 'Betray My Secrets' (1999) and 'Shiva In Exile' (2004) releases by Stefan Hertrich vocalist with gothic metal band Darkseed.  Stefan has taken the best in death metal and mixed it with various world music influences and sounds in a quite unique way, in what has been described as Ethno Metal, a metal for the new millennium.

This mix might seem a little out there, but this is an album that works really well.  Not being a real fan of the whole Death Metal genre as a whole this album is quite accessible and easy on the ear, unlike some Death Metal I’ve heard over the years.

The album still has that traditional Death Metal aggression, but this time it's balanced somewhat with the more angelic undertones of the world music.

The album opener ‘This Battle Is Yours’ is a prime example of the balance achieved between the varying musical styles, with Hertrich’s harsh vocal style and the spiritual ethnic tones, in a combination of metal and virtue.

The album continues with the very eclectic ‘Symphony Of Life’, a track that opens up with the gentle sounds of the rain forest and pan pipes, then it's into the full on metal of Hertrich, only this time he mixes the gruff vocals with some gentler vocals of his, resulting in another very fine track.

I must admit this is a very endearing album that just grows in stature with every listen.  The album continues with one off my favourite tracks off the album, the excellent ‘Nahash’, with the ethnic lyrics being provided by Yana Veva from Russian band Theodor Bastard, who also features on the tracks ‘Khundas’ and ‘Nowhereness’.

The next track and title track ‘Pulse’ which also features a guest vocalist.  This time it's former Haggard vocalist Gaby Koss.  This is another track that contains many mood and tempo changes throughout and find the album venturing into the realms of Power Metal, with its combined mix of harsh male and haunting female vocals.

As well as the music the album does include a very interesting multimedia section, that includes not only the video for ‘Pulse’, but also allows Stefan to give us an insight into his music and how he sees its reflection on the listener.  Dr Christian Ratsch also gives us his thoughts on metal, not only the elements, but the music described as metal and its profound effects on man and mans survival.

I think the mix of ethnic vocals and the more aggressive metal vocals make this a very unique album and one that is put into perspective by Hertrich himself as he describes as ... “The only purpose of this CD is to energize and to emotionally shake things up in a positive way, even if this album is my most aggressive son far. An aggression that should be enjoyed with a smile, not an imaginary fist” ... that about sums it all for me. 



1. This battle is Yours
2. Symphony of Life
3. Nahash
4. Pulse
5. Khundas
6. You Believe
7. Save and Heal 
8. Nowhereness
9. Multimedia Section - Pulse (Video)
    - Emotions & Metal
    - Metal Magic
    - Soulgate Open


All content copyright of The Mayfair Mall Zine unless otherwise stated.