I suppose my hopes were a wee bit dashed with this one, as the cover and title might entail that the band were heading into an industrial direction. There is even a Sorayama inspired robot waifu on said cover, which had me under the impression that the sound of machines were going to make a slight appearance here. That isn’t to say that I’m unimpressed with the EP performance however and Lychgate certainly prove that they’re skilled at creating captivating avantgarde metal with all the extremes that we’re familiar with. I’m getting slight hints of Ackercocke here, albeit with mid-era Opeth riffs and perhaps even some Devin Townsend inspired spacial harmonies. Clean vocals also make an appearance, but these do not entail Lychgate entering into the commercial world of pop-metal, nor anything similar. Trust that the ghastly synths are still apparent, providing a hefty Gothic background to a style that never remains the same for too long.
A piece like “Vanity Ablaze” should be more than enough to satiate the thirst of longtime fans, but “Incarnate” manages to throw in a few sampler effects that at least give off a slightly robotic feel to the music. That being said, there is a clear sound and precision here that pushes technicality into a far darker and less forgiving territory. This isn’t the sound of musicians joyfully playing technical melodies for the sake of technical melodies, which is good because I’m tired of that. Yes, you can play the guitar quite well or at least make it sound like a different instrument other than a guitar, but where’s the atmosphere that you’re trying to create with it? Closer “Progeny Of The Singularity” does just that, as Lychgate prove that they can make even twenty minutes of music into an fantastically frantic journey by which the senses are elated and the mind flayed before our robot overlords.
My only issue is that I feel the album cover, logo design, concept and frankly; the whole lot are far too good for a twenty-minute EP. Out of the numerous covers that are thrown at me on a daily basis, this one stood out. It is also very rarely that I even give praise to cover art alone as let’s be honest with the fact that most of it is exactly what you expect. I honestly wish they would have fleshed the whole thing out and made this recording a full-length. Maybe they should go to me for advice next time when they’re looking to create an album that reflects transhumanism and advanced robotics, two things I seem to care far too much about these days. This can’t be helped, but I definitely believe there is more than enough material here, even within twenty minutes to wet your appetites. The recording is in fact so good, that I’m tempted to play again immediately after. As a matter of fact, I’ll pull out my shrine to the almighty Omnissiah while immersing myself in this majesty. Of course, a couple more songs would have been nice.