THE PROVENANCE – How Would You Like To Be Spat At

THE PROVENANCE - How Would You Like To Be Spat At


Scarlet Records
Release date: January 24, 2005

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Out of Gothenburg, Sweden, comes the quintet The Provenance with the 3rd chapter to their discography, How Would You Like To Be Spat At. The title is not given as a question, thus emphasizing that an answer to this is not expected. This is reality seen from the eyes of The Provenance, and it’s nasty and harsh and miserable.

How Would You Like To Be Spat At takes The Provenance off the path of Goth/Doom Metal and into a state of dynamic, experimental noise, mixed with sheer beauty in the shape of mesmerizing melodies. In this massive expression, there are gloomy shades of gray, with the occasional pitch-black patches, like in “Some Gossip On Stealing A Spouse,” and a surprisingly soft blue in the lullaby intro of “Speeding To Get By.” The Metal is not forgotten, and its manifestation surfaces in “Considering The Gawk, The Drool, The Bitch And The Fool,” and “About A Whore, About A Kill…” Likewise, their previous Progressive movements are still present in the shape of orchestration and odd-numbered beats.

It’s understood that their music reveals multiple sources of influence, still there is a distinct uniqueness to it, especially in their musical arrangements. The first thing that comes to mind is the alternating male/female lead vocals. Next, is the devastating dynamic contrast, guaranteed to test the entire dynamic response range of your hi-fi system. Also, their extreme and aggressive use of what seems to be a mellotron is rather peculiar.

How Would You Like To Be Spat At is no joyride of mindless mumbo-jumbo. The lyrics dive deep into the abyss of life’s brutal cruelty, and they are well-accompanied by the music. To the band, this combination may serve as a flush-out of clogged-up channels of frustration and aggression. To an innocent listener, the damage from this electro-digital shock might be lifelong. Still, The Provenance manages to tap into rather complicated personal issues with an admirable sense of realism and understanding. And by the way, who’s really innocent?

Some might find it hard to follow The Provenance in their radical stylistic changes from one album to another. However, it’s hard to argue the apparent quality of this album as far as sincerity is concerned. If put to the ultimate test, a few snags appear, though. Most of all, the extensive use of distorted vocals makes it quite difficult to follow their lyrics at all times. Also, the vocals served by Tobias Martinsson (especially in “How Would You Like To Be Spat At In The Face?”) don’t quite reach the same nerve-tickling level of those served by his female counterpart, Emma Hellstrom. At the same time, this is aggressive despair well-communicated without the use of screaming or growling vocals, and thanks a lot for that!

Your own response to How Would You Like To Be Spat At would depend a lot on your stomach when it comes to watching someone’s soul being peeled off in bloody layers under the scalpel of The Provenance. There are no soft filters or glorified, romantic light settings to cushion the impact of this. Take it in, or turn away.

When the last song fades out after 53 minutes or so, the sizzling sound you hear comes from the fried circuits of the association centre in your brain …


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

    View all posts

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.