High Spirits return for the first time since 2020’s Hard to Stop. Safe on the Other Side is slated for release on November 17 via High Roller Records.
This is High Spirits’ fifth full-length studio album and as with all others, the captain of this ship is Chris Black. High Spirits is very much Black’s baby. He simply does everything, from writing to performing all vocals and playing all instruments. The only thing he doesn’t do is mix and master the album which is once again handled by Dan Swano.
Musically, High Spirits are generally classed as power metal, and to a degree I’d say they are. They have the speed and power to fulfill that role but to me, they have so much more.
They absolutely out-power your usual acts in the genre, where power is confused with speed.
High Spirits have real power in abundance and they create this by filling every available microsecond with huge pulsating riffs. The aural landscape is filled north, south, east and west. Every square inch is covered. Less is most definitely not more, for Chris Black more is more, and probably not enough.
Having said that, everything fits together beautifully and it does not sound overly busy or cluttered, which is Black’s real gift.
Safe on the Other Side continues High Spirit’s unblemished record of producing great big sounding melodic metal tracks. Black hits the spot pace-wise on every track. We have the energetic pace of “In the Moonlight” (nicely reminiscent of “Another Night in the City”) resplendent with a great solo. Then there’s “Please Don’t Leave Me Behind” which has a slower tempo but as every bit as powerful as every other tracks.
What each of the tracks also have in common is their total catchiness. Toe-tapping, head-nodding, head-banging or fist-pumping. Take your pick.
The quality of every High Spirits album is awesome and there are rare, if any, mis-steps. Safe on the Other Side is no exception.
Check out my other reviews and articles here. Sparky.