2 out of 5
Produced by: Weasel Walter
Coming out a year after the fantastic Cataclysm, Spectral Warrior Mythos Volume I features two of that album’s tracks – The Elimination of Incompetence and the title track – but differently sequenced, and each prepended by a ‘Kkring’ and ‘Improvisation’ track, plus ‘The Void Part Six’ appearing as track two.
While each song on here is individually compelling, showing off the stop/start blitz chops of Weasel Walter, Ed Rodriguez, and Mick Barr, this is also the Luttenbachers in always on mode, playing at blazing speeds throughout. It lacks the narrative sense of Cataclysm the album, and without that, the dynamics of the tracks that would eventually feature there are less affecting. An easy example: the album starts off with the title track, which makes an immediate impression due to that; here, it’s the concluding track, and we’ve already been pretty wiped by the preceding songs, so its impact is significantly lessened.
Flipping back around, opener Kkring Number One’s stomp of bass and beat has the best chance of setting a precedent, but the precedent is “loose, improv rock;” it’s not quite crazy enough, and lacks a hook.
Not to wholly mislead, Luttenbacher fans will appreciate Spectral Warriors even if it’s not a standout – the performances are quality, although “typical” Luttes when framed like this. For new listeners, there’s not anything immediate enough (again, in this context) to necessarily convert one into a follower, but as an EP, it’s short enough to not be intimidating, and it’s hard to find groups that do keep things as amped up for an entire set, so it can definitely make its mark in that sense. Unfortunately, the flip side of that always-on approach is that it wipes the experience of much dynamism; this was more of a document of Weasel trying to reformat the group as a post-Cataclysm trio, and while it produced a surely worthwhile variation on the Luttes, the recording lacks the cohesion of a proper album or EP.