High Spirits

Demos 2009

Planet Metal 2009

Chicago's High Spirits has laid claim to holding the status as the most sincere and authentic sounding of NWOBHM/Heavy metal bands coming from American shores.  Their two demos, which I like to call white and red based on their packaging, are each 4 tracks of melodic yet somehow tough traditional heavy metal.  They feature classy guitars, smooth, soaring vocals and an earthy old school production.  The red demo opens with Never Going Back with melodies that flow effortlessly and some catchy as hell guitar solos and a chorus that just begs you to sing along with it.  At around the 2:50 mark some jaw-dropping breaks and drum fills arrive on the scene like a metalhead riot.  Midnight Lady drips with classic rock that bridges the gap between metal and hard rock.  The demo finishes off with track bearing the same name as the band.  A meaty and throbbing main riff gallops along and pulses with the blood of METAL GODS!  A mystical sounding chorus lifts the song towards the heavens thanks to those buttery-smooth vocals though they do possess just enough of a rough edge during the rest of the song to give them a street power.  The white demo has a slightly heavier sound as the riffing is decidedly more metallic as evidenced by Torture and Wanted Dead.  Torture has a really driving riff that is bone hard.  It is somewhat camouflaged by melodic fretwork.  Wanted Dead grabs you by the collar and drags you along a gravel strewn road with a Motorhead-esque main riff though once again its toughness is slightly disguised by melodic leads and swirling guitar solos.  A tearful and epic anthem feel pervades Wings of Fire/Don't Look Down.  Those crystalline vocals, tinged with sorrow, starkly contrast against a pulsing bass line.  The spirit of of the 80s lives fast and hard in High Spirits and they drip with sincerity and integrity as each note speaks volumes about their love for this style.  I am astounded at how catchy and powerful High Spirits is.  In short I am blown away and these disks haven't left my player since I received them.  I can't wait for them to deliver a full length album.  I just hope they don't lose touch with what makes these demos so special.