Impressively handpicked by Deftones to open their 2016 tour, post-metal band Spotlights have certainly gotten things off to a great start. Both their new Hanging By Faith EP, as well as last year’s full-length Seismic, put them in front of a large audience early on.
That’s not too much of a surprise, though. Spotlights label themselves as “dream-sludge”, and that’s actually not terribly far off. Somewhere in between doom metal, post-metal, and post-rock lies Spotlights, as almost any harsh screaming tones are left off the table (“Under The Earth” is an exception) and in its place, shoegazey/dreampop-esque melodies roam instead. It’s all really impressive. Take a track like “Ghost Of A Glowing Forest”, for example. One of Seismic’s most dynamic tracks overall, it hits like a truck – but melodically. It does this in a lumbering fashion where its 6+ minute runtime always engages you, rather than bores you. The entire record is like this, more or less. “A Southern Death” even gives off heavy Tool vibes, with the bottom end especially reminding some of Lateralus.
The great thing about this band is how accessible they are. By removing some of the harshness of their music, they may open up shoegaze and dream-pop fans to heavier music, as well as the latter. For those of us who already avidly listen to both, bands like King Woman, Cloakroom, True Widow, and especially Spotlights have much to sink their teeth into. Impressive.