SPIRITUAL HOLOCAUST, Salute the Death (2010, demo)
The best kind of skull for a Big Dumb Skull cover, of course, is a physical object, photographed for the occasion, and Spiritual Holocaust have delivered at least that, it must be said. But, The Council and we Friars would prefer that at least some effort were put into disguising the white plastic skull you bought at the Halloween store as something that might have once encased an actual human brain. Spiritual Holocaust seems to even recognize the lameness of their skull, as their members have been here caught on film in the middle of a pathetic game of hot potato, one guy trying to pass off the shoddy dimestore replica skull on his fellow. There is no escaping this shame, though.
Mid-paced Finnish death metal. Not melodic, but not totally assonant, either. Being Finnish, and of recent vintage, Spiritual Holocaust are totally capable, and no one can impugn their skill as players, but their late-to-the-party Swedish-style death metal is as artlessly made as it is professionally produced. If you’re a die-hard for this sort of thing, or if you’re in the market for a farm-league Demigod, then you might add these guys to your collection without a second thought, but it’s highly unlikely they’d get a second listen. You’d spin Salute the Death (or, more likely, their lone full length album) once, think, “That was pretty good,” and then forget about them almost forever, until one of the guitarists ends up in a slightly better band, and you notice a mention of Spiritual Holocaust in their bio, and you absently think to yourself, “I think I have one of their discs…” before drifting to another, even less interesting thought. In fact, I just had to double-check who I was writing about in the first place. Potent mediocrity!
— Friar Johnsen