Prosperity Gospel – Society of the Spectral – Album Review and Q&A

Written by: Olivia Matthews

Prosperity Gospel have just released their second album ‘Society of the Spectral’ Via Liminal Dread productions. The band is following up 2020’s ‘Violently Pulled From Bliss’ and brings more of the fast tremolo picked, atmospheric post black metal sound. This aggressively progressive sound is paired with scathing anti capitalist critiques in the lyrics which take you on a journey from current socio-political relations to a potential solution in the future culminating in the song ‘Flying’.

A highlight of the album is the song ‘Generalizing’, which starts off with a dreamlike lead guitar melody which weaves in between the rhythm before launching into the harsh vocals and fast tremolo picked riffs. The main melody is a heavy counter to the intro melody which culminates in a driving catchy chorus. The melodic nature of the song remains just enough below the surface that it balances with the rhythm section and as a result compromises none of the heaviness.

I caught up with vocalist/guitarist Eddie Newman about the new album, which you can read below:

How different was the creative process between this album and the last?

The last album was 100% me, I wrote and recorded the whole thing in isolation. This time I had a band with their own ideas and suggestions which I think really expanded the sound of the record. And since we recorded it in bits and pieces over about 8 months, we used that process as an opportunity to refine a lot of the musical ideas. 

How would you describe your sound? It’s tagged as atmospheric black metal, however I can hear elements of black gaze?

Black gaze works for us. It’s really hard to describe the sound of your own music; I think other people can do a better job. I have been saying post-black metal lately as an easy description because that “genre” doesn’t have strict conventions. 

What inspires the lyrics that you write?

Almost always philosophy. The first record was focused more on pessimist existentialism a la Schopenhauer. This one explicitly references Guy Debord’s “Society of the Spectacle” and Zapffe’s “The Last Messiah” which are two of my favorite modern philosophy works. General themes of my work dating back to my teens would be anti-capitalism, anti-fascism, anti-consciousness, anti-procreation. I’m not pro- anything except escapism. 

What’s on the horizon for Prosperity Gospel in the new year?

I already have a couple songs I’m working on, one specifically for a Fiadh Productions compilation to raise money for Hearthstone Sanctuary in Ireland. I would love to finish a third record in 2024 as well and hope to continue our relationship with Liminal Dread Productions. We would like to play more shows after taking almost a year off to record this record.

‘Society of the Spectral’ is a great follow up album which mixes heavy melodic passages with pertinent social commentary. If you’re looking for some melodic and atmosphere infused black metal you will be right at home with Prosperity Gospels latest output! Make sure to check the band out on Bandcamp in order top support them directly where you can also pick up a physical copy.

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