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HOUSE OF SPIRITS was founded in 1993 by vocalist Olaf Bilic and bass player Martin Hirsch from the ashes of their previous band Jester’s March, looking for a more elaborated sound. The pair recruited ex- Mekong Delta guitarist Uwe Baltrusch and colossal drummer Jörg Michael (Laos, Axel Rudi Pell, Saxon and recently Devil's Train) to complete the line-up and immediately started to pre-produce their first album.
Titled "Turn Of The Tide", House Of Spirits' debut album blends elements from traditional German metal / hard rock with an accessible progressive feel plenty of melody.
This album is often compared to Queensryche's Operation Mindcrime and Empire highlights, but House Of Spirits' feel is less dramatic and much more melodic.
With most of tracks in a mid-tempo vein built around elaborated, clean guitar arrangements and greatly crafted choruses, "Turn Of The Tide" is a truly remarkable record.
Songs like the pumping 'Keep Me From Dreaming' or the quite melodic 'In My Heart' (including keyboard layers and acoustics into the mix) are quite memorable with an indubitable Queensryche's Empire-era feeling: a huge bass line, grandiose vocals, 'floating' drums - you get the picture.
The sizzling guitars on title track 'Turn The Tide', the broken riff of 'Wasteland' and the almost AOR atmospheres in 'He Waited' (superb guitar solo) are some of the other notable moments on this CD.
House Of Spirits and this "Turn Of The Tide" (the group recorded another album before disbanding) are pretty unknown, which is a shame as this is a truly awesome band / CD. Production is top notch, crystal clear and powerful.
Certainly not the usual kind of records featured here on this blog, but believe me, it's a terrific album.
01 - Dawn
02 - Turn The Tide
03 - Wasteland
04 - Keep Me From Dreaming
05 - Close To The Edge
06 - He Waited
07 - In My Heart
08 - The Eye Of The Storm
09 - In A Daze
10 - Final Mistake
11 - Time Has Come
Olaf Bilic: vocals
Uwe Baltrusch: guitars
Martin Hirsch: bass, keyboards, vocals
Jörg Michael: drums, percussion
HOUSE OF SPIRITS - Turn Of The Tide