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May 2017, Best Progressive Rock Album of the Month: In Spades by The Afghan Whigs


I was just a teenager when I heard for the first time a few songs from the american alternative rockers The Afghan Whigs. At that time, however, I was too much involved into the fantastic metal scene of the late 80’s and early 90’s to give enough attention to the elegant and complex architectures from these skilled and talented musicians.

Eventually they broke up in 2001, just when I was starting to really discover and apprecieate their music. After almost ten years, the guys from Cincinnati started composing and recording new material together. But if the first album of the reunited band received mixed reviews from both critics and fans (I also wasn’t too much excited from their 2014’s Do The Beast), with their new release, In Spades, they have managed to match the beauty and the quality of their first releases.

In Spades is the eight album in The Afghan Whig‘s discography. Musically speaking the album is full of progressive rock references, with passionate and engaging motifs, and the disc stands out effectively as one of the finest works from the band, even considering their entire production since 1986. There are a few noir anthems in the album wich definitely candidate to be among the best rock songs of the year, and the record has all the cards in place to win both the old fans and to capture the attention of the new generations.

In Spades is as quintessentially Afghan Whigs as anything the group has ever done – fulfilling its original mandate to explore the missing link between howling Midwestern punk like Die Kreuzen and Hüsker Dü, The Temptations’ psychedelic soul symphonies, and the expansive hard-rock tapestries of Led Zeppelin and Lynyrd Skynyrd. At the same time, this new record continues to push beyond anything in the Whigs’ previous repertoire – another trademark, along with the explosive group dynamic captured on the recording. (Bandcamp)

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