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Lekamen Illusionen Kallet. - 60%

Perplexed_Sjel, September 7th, 2010

Seconds before I started to write this review, I noticed that Lik have reformed and have been a band again since June of this year. Astonishing. I don’t know how long I would have gone without knowing that piece of information if I had not sat down to review what I thought was their swan song, ‘Lekamen Illusionen Kallet’. Unbeknownst to me, the title for this third full-length is actually the name of the band, too. I had always assumed they were just called Lik. I’m very stupid, it seems, though we knew that already. I’m not at all surprised they’ve abbreviated it because Lekamen Illusionen Kallet is one hell of a mouth full, especially for your average Englishman who, naturally, only speaks the one language. On we shall press, despite my faltering personality and inabilities. ‘Lekamen Illusionen Kallet’, the self-titled third album, is actually my least favourite of the three. Looking back at the progression of the band, it’s difficult to see how they messed this one up, though it is by no means an area of their discography that should be whitewashed over.

This album is the shortest of the three, spanning just under thirty minutes long and containing only the four songs. Although Lik’s albums have all been relatively short, the length of this album still managed to take me by surprise. Considering the album ends with two uneventful instrumentals, I would much have preferred Sweden’s finest occult black rock artists to have made this a significantly more lengthy addition to their wonderfully hypnotic discography. This album is more of an EP than a full-length and, considering the band are back together again, I think I may treat it as such and forget that this was once our swan song from the Swedes, a band whom deserve a much better parting gift than a short, uninspiring finale. The first two songs, what I like to call the “proper songs”, are great. In fact, ‘Röd Puls’ represents some of Lik’s finest work. The song writing is immense. It manages to tie in all the elements that have made Lik so phenomenal down the years all into the one song and it makes the album feel as if this is going to be a strong farewell.

Although the album exists in an expected form, the content is still very pleasing. It’s reminiscent of their other albums, though Lik have not been one for too much adventure outside of their already set patterns, which is strange because I’ve yet to hear another band like Lik. The atmosphere is still the same. That spacey, entrancing vibe still exists to excite. The devilish dissonance of the distortion from the guitars still exists and the haunting vocals are as powerful as ever on the opening two songs but the joy is short lived. The instrumental songs by themselves would be fine but they’re simply not wanted, or needed on this album. Together they take up over ten minutes of the albums duration when the album itself is only twenty-seven minutes long. I feel somewhat cheated. As if the Swedes took the easy way out and that their troubles, and whatever made them break-up in the first place, took precedence over providing the fans with what they deserve and require. What I personally require is more in a similar vein to ‘Röd Puls’. Hypnotic atmospherics, glorious melodic guitar, melancholic soundscapes and those beautifully haunting vocals from Graav.

I’ve come to expect great things from Lik, so the fact that this album 50% unfulfilling songs is a sham. ‘Vredens Trolldom’ isn’t exactly an instrumental track. It does contain vocals, but not in the same capacity as the regular songs do. The vocals are whispered, with some agonising background chanting going on almost undetected. They don’t offer the same haunting inspiration as they normally do. The vocals on this particular song aren’t meant to be a main feature of the song, although I’m not entirely sure what is. With the other song, ‘Visioner Om En Ödslig Framtid’, this is completely instrumental. It isn’t anywhere near as affective as the opening two songs. It uses that same bouncy bass sound, with the bass playing a central role in the song, but it’s far too slow moving and ponderous. It doesn’t take advantage of the regular energetic sound of Lik and seems to pine away in solitude, as it is unlike any of the previous songs, therefore it feels out-of-place and unwarranted. I’m glad Graav has decided to resurrect this band because they deserve another shot at the big time. This album could have been spectacular, but falters half-way through.