"Spray" (Album, 2002)
Released shortly before teaming up with German label Dependent, Sulpher's debut comes after a couple of years playing live to ever increasing audiences, their first single, and press coverage hailing them as potential saviours of the industrial guitar crossover sound.
Like others that have gone before them, Sulpher force walls of grinding guitar noise and fast sequencers to work together. The upper hand is usually given over to the guitars and when they rule my interest wains. When the synths and guitars are given equal weight then the results are more original, more unpredictable and more rewarding. You Ruined Everything is a good example of getting the balance right. A live favourite, this manages to convey the same intensity on CD, with an inventive open break in the middle. To prove they don't have to resort to explosive tactics to deliver excellent music, You Don't Mean That Much opens with what sounds like a semi-acoustic intro that, although resonates with threatening tension, keeps it in check turning in the moodiest, most atmospheric piece on the entire album.
Even with my reservations, it's easy to say that Sulpher blow most of the competition out of the water... 'cause they do. I'm just not sure how far they can run with the incessant side of things. Still, with the likes of Fear Factory throwing in the towel, Sulpher still have plenty of lost souls ripe for converting to the dark side. 7/10
Official Sulpher website: http://www.sulpher.co.uk