without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
Before I begin to praise this album, let me mention that I'm usually very negative when it comes to the Brutal Death genre. Something about the sound annoys me and I cannot come to like it. The only exceptions were Azarath and Nile, for some reason. But now I can add a third band to that: Lykathea Aflame.
From the very first second, this album showed me that brutality doesn't mean lack of beauty. The incredibly Eastern sound with which the first track "Land Where Sympathy Is Air" opens mixes brilliantly with the fast pace and relentless drumming that follows. Throughout the song we get a great balance between slow, Eastern with clean vocals and fast and brutal with the typical brutal vocals to go with it. In that aspect, Lykathea doesn't show themselves renewing. But as the album continues, they show that in the end, you'll be obliged to regard the entire album as a masterpiece of progressive song-writing.
The clean vocals re-appear more often than I expected at my first listen, while this doesn't mean the album is packed with cleanness. No, far from it. Around every turn, we meet power and agression, there's definitely no lack of it. But the improvement is that on this album, the agression comes in doses, rather than non-stop. Several times, the music slows down and the agression makes way for a softer emotional interlude which never takes too long. This may sound like the end-result is a chaotic mix of loud-silent, soft-hard, but nothing is further from the truth. It all flows into each other beautifully.
Another big plus was the track "Bringer of Elvenefris Flame". You will notice I pick out the first tracks, but it's thanks to these that I managed to stay interested and actually finished listening to the album. This particular track pleased me because of the drums. What annoys me in several brutal bands is that generic sound of drums on every album, as if every band out there has the same drummer. This track however focuses more on the guitar-work and this is probably the main reason why I finished the album. If you don't agree with my drum-statement, keep in mind that I'm not a fan of brutal death/grind and that I only say it like it sounds for me. Because I can't help but hear the same boring drum patterns that take away the pleasure of listening. It's a problem I only find in these particular genres, but Lykathea Aflame somehow managed to avoid the pitfalls that I dislike.
To conclude: if you're not a fan of this kind of music, but figure you want to give it a shot: Lykathea Aflame. People with a weakness for innovative/progressive/avant-garde/experimental bands will find the unique brilliance that is "Elvenefris" irrestitable. I can't wait to hear more from these guys in their "new" band.