Lykhaeon – Ominous Eradication Of Anguished Souls (2018)

Lykhaeon

Ominous Eradication Of Anguished Souls

Godz Of War Productions

Even though it is awfully odd to talk about a disc by way of its packaging, this one stands out quite a bit. First of all, the digipack is black with dark writing, so it essentially looks like black on black on black. You can imagine how difficult that is to read. However, when I used my phone’s flashlight, I noticed that I was actually able to see the cover and that it was actually pretty cool. The writing on the inside of the digipack was equally dark, but when I shined the flashlight on it, I was able to see everything quite clearly as well and noticed it as a sort of dark blue. I think this was all done intentionally, and is a pretty awesome little gimmick for advertising how grim one’s band can be. That’s got to be the most grim packaging I’ve ever seen.

Now, let’s get to the album. Atmosphere is the name of the game here, and that can take the form of thick mounds of death and doom, slight iterations of black metal and even some spoken word portions. The disc is especially thick, sometimes rolling completely into amp feedback which in some cases offsets the performance. When “Chthonios I” merges directly into “Chthonios II” it doesn’t quite hit the mark and they should have stripped just a few more seconds from the first cut to make it flow better into the second. It’s just kind of an abrupt transfer right after said feedback, which we probably shouldn’t be hearing at all; unless live of course.

As far as the music is concerned, I don’t feel there’s much variation aside from just a few sections. Most of what the listener is getting here is a sort of atmospheric brutal death, which doesn’t really undergo changes until later on in the second part of the experience with what I can tell are some actual lead melodies. No offense guys, but it’s not overly difficult to blast on the kit with a bunch of bass fuzz in order to make it sound like you’re in a dark cavern somewhere. Honestly, I think that even the occult entities the ritual here is performed for would get a bit tired of it. “Again?” says one entity to another, as the other remarks, “Well, it’s better than mumble rap.” And yes, they would be right. I would much rather hear this dark and somewhat tortured soundscape than that of Childish Gambino.

While I can’t lyrically discern either approach, whether that be the fierce growls and screams here or Donald Glover’s incoherent mumblings I still think that there’s more depth to be had here, especially when the sound turns to something resembling an actual ritual, in which the entities may now be pleased. I have no idea who he’s chanting and what the hell the result of this is, but if some entity decides to appear before me, then I might have someone to start a conversation with today.

I especially like the alien-vocal effect later in the recording, which I think is quite interesting. This is beginning to turn into a noise album and I don’t mind that. I just think that now it means that Lykhaeon have a lot more to prove. Okay guys, we know that you can do atmospheric death metal and noise a great deal of justice, so let’s see you combine the both of them on a full-length. You’ll find it fairly difficult to do and I marvel at those who do manage to get the two to work together in perfect disharmony. That being said, the effect would be worth it.

I can’t say that I’m thrilled with this disc, but I can’t say that I didn’t like it either. It sounds very similar to a lot of acts in this atmospheric dungeon death metal style, but it does come with a few nice quirks in the ending ritual, the powerful gusts of wind and the alien vocal effect shift. That’s pretty cool, I just wish that there was a way they could have added this to the metallic structures within the piece.

Unfortunately, I like the packaging far better than the album itself and that’s the truth. Though if you’re still interested in checking out this mixture of atmospheric death metal with some intriguing samples of noise here and there, you may find something in it. Lykhaeon sounds too much like their peers with this one though, which might make it very difficult for them to stand out. I could have also done without a few of the tiny shouts in the background, not out of character for DSBM which hopefully doesn’t become a thing that we start incorporating into darker forms of extreme metal as a whole. Give it a listen at the link below and let me know if I’m being too harsh.

(2 Tracks, 26:00)

6/10

Purchase HERE (Bandcamp)

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