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Glass Shrine > Lapidary > Reviews > TheStormIRide
Glass Shrine - Lapidary

Beauty and Decay. Jubilation and Despair. - 89%

TheStormIRide, February 2nd, 2017

Glass Shrine released a short, three track demo in 2015, titled Impurities, which was well received in certain circles (small circles, unfortunately). The demo had a certain charm; unhinged and rather raw black metal that sounded surprisingly upbeat. Despite it’s short play time (at only eight and half minutes), it was one of my favorite demos of 2015. The project’s first full length offering, Lapidary, sees multi-instrumentalist/vocalist D.L. return with a fine continuation of the sounds presented on Impurities.

Lapidary offers nine tracks in the form of a delicate balancing act: light and dark; beauty and decrepitude; triumph and defeat. A cursory listen reveals blasting percussion and rangy yet melodious trem riffing, yet the closer one focuses in on the fiery flow, the more lustrous the glowing embers become. The title of the album, which refers to the art of cutting gems or the precision or refinement of expression, boldly embodies both portions of the definition. Despite the hectic presentation, careful thought was placed into each passage, crafted to elicit a constant ebb and flow of raw tremolo riffing and uplifting movements; seemingly morphing from standard dissonance into mesmerizing passages of flowing, yet aggressive melodies.

While it’s certainly a black metal album at heart, the almost faint rumbling bass that starts off “The Polestar of Movement” gives off a mid 90′s screamo/metalcore vibe while some movements seems rooted in post-punk (especially some of the cleaner vocal passages), yet through it all Glass Shrine manages to retain a triumphant black metal sound. Perhaps that’s the strongest element of Glass Shrine’s approach, this chaotic yet triumphant approach to something that is usually so dismal and dark. Sure the twisted trem riffs and blasting drums summon a darkness of their own, but it’s countered with upbeat pulses of something akin to tendrils of auditory hopefulness.

At first glance this is rather raw and abrasive, yet it has loads of melody and sheer creativity lurking beneath the surface. It’s my ardent hope that listens will give Lapidary time to worm its way into your subconscious. Memorable riffs, extremely well written lyrics, and a careful precision and attention to detail on songwriting rarely found in black metal; this album has all the trappings of a classic in my book. This is likely to stay in constant rotation in my stereo for a long time to come.

Written for The Metal Observer.