Penance – Spiritual Natural – Review


Spiritual Natural (Martyr Music)
By Craig Regala

With roots from drumming for Cathedral, playing with Novembers Doom, and slinging axe for Wickerman, Penance has fucking true deep rock/doom cred. One of the bands that utilizes a clean, clear vocal attack ala Sabbath, Iron Man, Pentagram, The Obsessed, Trouble (Penance singer Brian Balich is truly one of the children of acid rock’s grave), and the heavy rock attack those folks created. I hope you, the consumer, don’t dream of any past glory, but carry it into the living, breathing today.

Like papa Sabbath, they integrate a fluid slip-stream of blues-jazz-folk licks and language within the stomp ‘n’ crush. Why? Cuz that’s where all this came from, regardless of the coloring provided by tuning, distortion, and speed. If you hear bagpipes, acoustic guitar, and mandolin, it’s because they’re fucking there! Right where they belong. The emotions you feel, the trials and tribulations you’ll go through, are no different from your grandparents, George Washington, or Judas. We’re wired the same. Even as the advertising culture tries to convince you you’re “special” (to get your oh so generic dollars), you’re just like the rest of us. And that’s OK.

Why do you think bands like Neurosis and Opeth have used many of the same methods, sounds, and tools? Because they physically trigger a response you can either accept or choose to deny. This is the real shit, and like anything that isn’t “trend worthy” in the advertising/industrial culture, its validity may be challenged. Know why? Cuz it’s a challenge to a surface view of reality. Don’t be fucked. Give this and all of history a chance. Or you may be doomed to repeat it… and get jerked around again. Rock on…
(PO Box 42323 Pittsburgh, PA 15203)