Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus are:
Henke Persson: Drums
Viktor Källgren: Bass
Karl Apelmo: Vocals/Guitars
Micke Pettersson: Guitars


Hints were given last year about what the shape of Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus' upcoming album Spirit Knife would take, in the form of a small piece of vinyl plastic. Two works with low center of gravity and blackened surfaces; Point Growth and Fearsome Wine. Together, the two songs pointed with the whole hand towards a draped in black, voluminous state with a blackness the group had only hinted at previously.

They seem to have festered into that state properly and grown stronger. The result is, by its lion's share an overgrown and large album where the quartet certainly isn't making any further compromising of the epic. The album's center tank with the working title Alcohol sounds like a definitive settlement with the higher powers on a dramatic cliff, the title track reaches a quivering crescendo with its war cries and before mentioned Point Growth has its languorous, molasses thick darkness.

Impressive power measurements such as these aside, it would not be Jeremy Irons & the Ratgang Malibus without the balance the group almost have made their signature in their previous works. Small important breathing spaces in the slugging provides a healthy dose of fresh oxygen to the content in terms of both the album as a whole and in the details, the character and the orchestration of the songs.

It turns out, just like on its predecessor Bloom, that the span from ghostly folklore to the tones of gallops feels reasonable, rather than straggly. This shows in the way the high-flying vocals with its pathos and its sacred ornaments becomes the rootsy rock music's perfect counterpart and best friend. The chemistry that occurs between them is irresistible and eternal. And as by chance, irresistible is just the word I find most suited to summarize Spirit Knife.

-Magnus Färnefors.