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While the Dutch have solidified their death metal style with bands like Pestilence and Asphyx being the hallmark of Dutch death metal, Lucifericon instead presents a rather different style of extremity with their debut EP, The Occult Waters. Originally released last year independently, the release has caught the ears of the excellent Blood Harvest, and ditching the rather cheesy original album artwork, Blood Harvest reissues The Occult Waters with a new artwork, yet retaining the feel and theme of the original.
Introductory track Infinituum sets a disturbing and heavy atmosphere for Lucifericon, leaving one in a state of unease that will continue for the rest of the release. I have to admit, things are at quite an anti-climax as The Temple of Lucifericon greets the listener after the climactic, rather high tension that the intro built with the mid-pace that Lucifericon goes at, but things escalate rather quickly. The heavily trem-picked riffs and thrashy speed that the band goes at brings in the Floridian death metal influences that the band has, with the riffing styles being rather reminiscent of early Morbid Angel.
The somewhat blackened touches that the band includes in their writing also helps to reinforce the entire atmosphere and mood of the album, and moments like these remind one of the Gene Palubicki projects like Perdition Temple and Apocalypse Command. Yet unlike the frantic lead guitar style that the aforementioned bands utilise, Lucifericon‘s solos are often tastefully included, with every intention being the reinforcement of the dark and heavy atmosphere on The Occult Waters, like on Moon Over Fading Statues, where an acoustic guitar is also used to reinforce the entire emotion that is on the track.
On The Occult Waters, Lucifericon fully displays their ability to go from fast and chaotic to slower and more melancholic moments, all the while not losing any of their intensity at all, making this a nice EP to draw all fans of death metal in.
Originally self-released in late summer 2012, with decidedly cheesier cover art which has been dressed up here, The Occult Waters is a burst of old school purity from the Netherlands of all places. Granted, the country produced some of the most important death metal acts of history in the genre's prime (Pestilence, Asphyx, Sinister, etc), but of late I haven't recognized it as a prolific harbor for 80s/90s nostalgia. That said, Blood Harvest records has a real nose for sniffing out primitively brutal and purist sounds as you'll rarely find elsewhere, so if you've lately appreciated the works of Burialkult, Cerekloth, Necroccultus and the many others they've released, then this 12" MLP reissue should be placed immediately on your radar...at least to check out once.
This is your genre-standard, viscera gargling dawn of the 90s sound drawing heavily on ancient US influences like Morbid Angel, Deicide, Incantation, and Death, with a lot of busy tremolo picked guitar lines and resonant, echoed, utterly nihilistic guttural vocals that unfortunately become pretty monotonous over the intonation of both the verses and choruses. They cultivate a very underground, DIY aesthetics with clear but slightly raw guitars and tinny, understated drumming, but I give them points for simply sounding ancient as they intended. That doesn't necessarily translate into great music, though, since painfully few of these rhythm guitar progressions stand out for anything more than their adherence to tradition, but I felt a fluctuation of both cosmic and cavernous aesthetics when the band were all out riffing along to one of the faster sequences, and they incorporate a lot of wild leads and rhythms that occasionally hinge on a black/death hybrid style ("Moon Over Fading Statues" or the closer "Deathtongue").
Though a lot of their impulse is to play fast, Lucifericon also throw in some slower to mid-paced breakdowns that definitely chop up and better balance the songs to a more fulfilling degree. They also delve into atmospherics; the dark, monotonous, brooding ambient intro "Infinituum" leaves a lot to be desired, a pretty bland setup for "The Temple of Lucifericon", but I dug the acoustic guitars inaugurating "Moon Over Fading Statues". Overall, though, the riffs are just pretty basic and uninspired by themselves, and I felt like the tone was pretty dry and incapable of standing on its own legs without the barking madness of the front man. There is texture and effort in the composition, but the end result just wasn't memorable in such a wide sea of similar acts. That said, there is a sub-set of nostalgic death metal fanatics who go absolutely apeshit over these sorts of authentic, raw and straightforward recordings that recall the old 90s production levels, and The Occult Waters falls somewhere between a demo and album mix. I doubt that audience would be too turned off by what they heard here, but personally I found the atmospheric qualities trumped the actual music.
I always liked this feeling, when I get a CD or something else (tape, whatever…) from absolutely unknown band and then having absolutely no expectations whatsoever I get blown away by the music and can happily add yet another band to the collection and have one more moniker on my list of killer underground acts. This is exactly the case of Lucifericon, band which until last month I had absolutely no idea about. At first I didn’t even had much will to listen to their debut CD, probably because I just don’t like the artwork of it and I honestly thought that it may be a dull thrash metal band or something even worse, maybe a crap like tech death in the vein of Cynic… So I putted “The Occult Waters” away and instead started to listen to the new Terrorama album, which turned out to be a real fuckin killer. But finally the time came, when I had to give a listen to Lucifericon… and well, I have no doubts that this newcomer managed to shred me to pieces! This is what I call 666% real metal and this is what I call an effective debut release! It definitely is not yet another quickly forgettable stuff, but one, which will stick with me for longer! Energetic, killer riffs, obscure, dark atmosphere, great feeling... “The Occult Waters” has all these ingredients.
Lucifericon actually hails from The Netherlands, but is sort of mystique band, as there’s no info at all about the line up and the band at all. Only later on I’ve found out that the band features some musicians involved in acts like Malicious Dream, Pentacle, ex-Excision and ex-Destroyer 666. It does sound intriguing, doesn’t it? Having that in mind I can understand why this music sounds so great, as it was performed by experienced musicians, not fuckin rookies hehe. But since I still don’t know who exactly plays in Lucifericon, let’s skip this issue then, I don’t really care, the most important is that “The Occult Waters” is a very good release. If you’re into the old styled, dark and morbid death metal, in the vein of Pentacle, some Australian bands (GOTH, Destroyer 666), maybe some very early Morbid Angel stuff, Vital Remains, etc then you’ll definitely will be interested in getting Lucifericon in your stereo… With those harsh, screaming vocals their music almost has a black metal or thrashing black metal atmosphere here and there, like in this awesome opening song “The Temple of Lucifericon”. The music is savage, raw and aggressive, often quite fast or mid paced, but sometimes it also tends to be slightly more melodic, just give a listen to “Moon Over Fading Statues”. But it never fails to impress, it is constantly great and quality, so I feel really amazed. The only regret, which I have is that the whole material consists just about 20 minutes of music and I would really like to get some more songs. But I can only hope that Lucifericon will soon get some more music released, I’ll definitely keep my eyes open on this band from now on. Totally recommended!