I know I’m about to fall in love when an album starts with a long dramatic guitar introduction. And Point of Origin, the latest release from Downspirit is no exception. After a lengthy inauguration of wailing guitars, the album really kicks in halfway through “Point of Origin pt2”, where the head-banging riffs and howling guitar solo establish Downspirit in their hard-rock-bluesy-ness. With the clever use of a wah-y talk box kind of vocal effect redolent of Bon Jovi’s “Livin On A Prayer”, you might be suckered into wondering if Downspirit can keep up the mirthful grandness for the rest of the album. Well, the super harmonica introduction of track three suggests that for the most part, they can.

Although track 5, “Lost”, has a solid start, it seems to pull back a little from the frontline and borders on sketchiness. Perhaps this song is a grower, but it seems there’s a few too many ideas going on that it lacks the overall hand of coherency needed to pull it altogether. That said, it’s still pretty good.

Formed in Germany in 2009, Point of Origin is Downspirit’s debut album, and knowing that this is their first release makes it seem all the more impressive. Many bands take a while to discover their focus, but clearly something about Downspirit has already fallen into place; these guys know what they’re doing. And they’re doing it very, very well.

They take a break from the hard rock and gratuitous guitar soloing for “Hollow Words.” Because let’s be honest, who doesn’t appreciate an enjoyably cliched balladeering number to sway along to? The “wooooaaah!”s in the chorus and the softly-spoken midsection breakdown promptly smash down the barrier between seriousness and tongue-in-cheek, and give it a hearty shove towards the latter. And then bring back the gratuitous guitar soloing for good measure.

And then, sure enough, we’re back to hard rock, with “Highway Run”, “Arisen”, the hugely enjoyable “Make my Day”, and album closer “The End,” which has a distinct Metallica flavour. Unfortunately, “The End” slightly misses the mark and isn’t nearly as catchy as most of the other songs, and while it is a shame to end on a slightly lower note, on the whole it doesn’t distract from what is a thoroughly agreeable and solid album.  [ END ]

Track listing:

01. Point of Origin pt1
02. Point of Origin pt2
03. Love Song
04. Life’s a Bitch
05. Lost
06. Good Times
07. Hollow Words
08. Highway Run
09. Arisen
10. Make my Day
11. The End

Run Time: 46:37
Release Date: 08.17.2010