SPOTLIGHTS- ‘Love & Decay’

Spotlights know magic. Before now, Chino Moreno, Mike Patton, and, yes, even Moderate Rock have all fallen under the spell of husband and wife doomgazers, Sarah and Mario Quintero. Their debut album seemed to come out of nowhere, emerging from a cloud of smoke to celebrity endorsement and rave reviews, and their second record, the stunning Seismic, not only managed to live up to the hype but exceeded it. A rare trick indeed.

As the opening track of album number three roars into life, it’s clear that the fairy-tale is set to endure. “Continue the Capsize” starts as a static-laced, speaker-testing wall of noise before, fittingly, spots of light start to breach the divide. Rolling, humming vocals and lithe, lively percussion courtesy of recently-promoted full-time drummer Chris Enriquez sprinkle satisfying ear candy among trademark dense layers and heavy textures. It’s a bold, brilliant beginning and it doesn’t just encourage continued comparisons to the band’s doom and gloom-enthused peers, but the likes of Isis, Jesu, and Deftones too.

There’s a chance that everything between that arresting opening number and lush, epic closer “The Beauty of Forgetting” could blend together on first listen. There’s a near-constant bass fuzz to navigate and so many titanic mid-paced riffs to keep track of that it’s mostly special moments, rather than whole songs, that stand out. The charm here is that in spite of that, or perhaps even because of it, Love & Decay demands to be heard again and again. It’s enchanting stuff, hypnotic. And repeated listens better reveal the shape of choice cuts like the shifting rhythms of “The Age of Decay”, and the ever-accelerating “The Particle Noise”.

Anyone that has already fallen under Spotlights’ spell will only fall deeper here. Everyone else should prepare to be converted. Magic.

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