The buzz started around this band well before their first show (a show that I was en route to when I heard about Daniel Higgs performing in a yoga studio - my choice was obvious), and though it was ages before I actually heard the band, DISPIRIT did not disappoint. The brainchild of John Gossard, who was responsible for WEAKLING, perhaps the most quietly influential Bay Area black metal band ever, DISPIRIT dole out atmospheric and bleak black metal steeped in melancholy and doom (the subgenre and the emotion), combining the pace of Gossard's other notable act ASUNDER with whitewashed guitar melodies and genuine despair. The tempo doesn't increase beyond an excruciating crawl until twenty minutes into the demo, and even then the result is an increased focus on the melody...trying to find the band through the severe lack of fidelity. But the poor recording sets the mood, and I think it's important as an introduction - nothing about DISPIRIT is pretty. It took me almost two years to see the band live, and as much as I was prepared to be blown away, I left the show underwhelmed and wondering if the hype had slipped through the band's grasp...and then I listened to this tape. Tortured sounds, to be sure (and the next time I saw them it was everything I had hoped it would be).