The Spirit Cabinet is the follow up album to the now long-sold out eponymous debut from the UK’s The Northern Lighthouse Board. Like its predecessor, this is another fine collection of creepy, sepia-tinged, unsettling soundscapes, many of which are only a few minutes long but use their short time with us to make quite an impact. Images are conjured of happening upon an old abandoned manor house at dusk, the building hidden behind rusted gates and withered ivy, its inhabitants long since departed, at least in the physical sense. Perfectly described as music for Victorian seances, the album lurks unseen in the shadows, showing glimpses of another world beyond this.
Each track entices you to delve further and explore the building in more detail – ‘The Wych Elm’, welcoming you in with a sense of unease and foreboding. The dread increases over the album, with the genuinely disquieting ‘The Green Children of Woolpit’, long-droning synthesizers casting an eerie gloom over the track. ‘Rosa Alchemica’ is off-kilter and eerily chiming, like opening a dusty old music box with both excitement and trepidation rising at what horrors may lie behind the music. The title track has a quickly ticking clock over the Victoriana-sounding synths, reminding us that, like the old occupiers of the house, time is of the essence. Creaking floorboards, haunting birdsong, faint screams of terror haunt the listener across various tracks, deepening the overall apprehension and drawing them deeper and deeper into a world of spirits, shadows and spectres.
The Northern Lighthouse Board are authentically unique and The Spirit Cabinet is a perfect listen on a still, dark night; so lock the doors, light some candles, pour a glass of your favourite tipple and settle down for a legitimately unnerving, but mesmerising experience.
The Spirit Cabinet is out now via Reverb Worship and can be purchased here.
Words: Scott Crawford