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Okay I'll give them a pass for one - 51%

Noktorn, May 24th, 2011

This is most often the least liked Lucifugum album, and the reasoning behind it is pretty fair: it's intentionally weird and offputting. The musical style and (especially) the production job are calculated to put any listener off their lunch for a while. I'm not completely convinced the guitars are real- I think it's entirely possible that every instrument on this release is synthesized. That's the only thing that explains how this manages to be the coldest, weirdest, most sterile Lucifugum release ever- it's definitely futuristic (if the title and art didn't clue you in), but I'm not sure it's entirely good. Rather than dismissing it as a bad album, though, I prefer to look at it as a well-intentioned experiment that only marginally succeeded- these guys get the benefit of the doubt after so many great releases.

So, the production, the biggest antagonist of this record: it's deliberately thin and grating. It's not quite Torch of War level obnoxious, but it comes close. The hi-hats on the programmed (I'm assuming) drums are incredibly loud and clippy, and the guitars are also absurdly thin and reedy. There's not a hint of bass anywhere on this record, even though the bass guitar is paradoxically very audible. It's as though everything but the treble frequency of this music has been completely sliced off. It makes it a trying listen and your ears are pretty fatigued after just a couple tracks of it. I'd say it's pretty effective as far as the style of music goes, but it's still rather excruciating and I don't know if the same idea couldn't have been presented with a more reasonable style of mixing.

The music is... odd. If 'Sociopath: Philosophy Cynicism' was a transitional record of sorts, signaling a more avant-garde approach for the band, 'Vector33' is the sound of them diving headlong into weirdness. The riffs tend not to have a whole lot to do with traditional black metal; more than anything, they remind me of a simplified form of what Thorns did on their full-length record: sort of dissonant, grating, and weirdly spacious, with a streaming, fluid tone and presentation. Still, it's hard to tell if they're even being physically played- the guitar tone is so blown out and synthetic-sounding that it could easy be a distorted synth patch. Speaking of which, the synths are back, and usually form the bulk of the melodic voice when they're around, just as high and reedy as the guitars. The tracks tend to be long and sort of wandering- there really aren't repeated themes in the form of recurring riffs. The music just tends to amble through a series of sort of aimless half-Victorian/half-Star Trek riffs until an end is arbitrarily arrived at.

'Vector33' isn't an album big on conclusion or reasonable structuring- it feels a lot more like the band just decided to do whatever the fuck they wanted, but within a very decisive sort of artistic vision. I think this album is a statement more based on the sound of the music than the music itself. It's as though Lucifugum wanted to portray this weird, possible future of black metal as a style of music completely removed from heavy metal, and the actual riffcraft and songwriting was sort of secondary to this abstract vision they had. The problem with the album is obvious: the songwriting's simply not there. The sheer dissonance and weirdness of the riffs eliminates any accessibility and the band just ends up going nowhere with most of the passages on this record. I appreciate the attempt, but it's not just not something most would ever want to listen to.

While I appreciate the weirdness of this release, it's really just not for me. Lucifugum take a more moderate, reasonable take on this sort of approach on the next full-length, which makes this sort of a moot bit of experimentalism. It has its worthwhile moments, but overall, this is something just for Lucifugum obsessives and the curious. Give it a try if you find it cheap, but this is certainly one of the less necessary records in the band's catalog.

Black Metal you would hear in a wasp hive - 50%

PhantomMullet, November 25th, 2006

If wasps or hornets knew how to play black metal, this is what it would sound like. Just a little background on Lucifugum, they were easily one of the best Ukrainian bands out there back when they had Faunus and Bal-a-myth (RIP), but after a while everything just went downhill. With albums like Nakhristikhryaschakh and On Hooks to Pieces, one could experience hateful and sinister music with a chilling atmosphere. Now Lucifugum has gone from triumphant, to just plain raw, to a completely nihilistic and anti-human style of playing.

Now, the music. Well, can you call it music? I actually haven't heard the albums before this, so I don't know if this sound is a completely new thing for the band. But anyway, the production is piss poor. If you listen carefully, you'll see the guitarwork isn't that bad at all and you'll see how well it's done during the long times in each track. Brezgini Plebozhinzi is a good example of this. But that's it. That's being very generous. I could easily go back to my wasp comment a little earlier. It's very hard to hear the drumming and the vocals just feel weird. These are standard black metal vocals, but they just don't feel like they fit too well. Many of the songs sound the same, and it would be a waste to go through all of them, as there is not much in the music at all. There are no key parts of the songs, or interesting parts for that matter. It's just pure nihilistic black metal.

Then again, it's pure nihilistic black metal. Not to sound lame or anything, but this band has definitely defined the term "tr00" over the years. With song titles and lyrics that are completely inaudible and impossible to understand, with the grazing guitars, and the not-so dominant drums, one can't disagree that this is indeed pure black metal. Check it out if you want something completely poisonous, disgusting, and evil sounding.

But for those of you looking for something with a melody, decent production, and that of the 2nd generation black metal bands you got into, avoid this like the plague. I'd personnally stick to Lucifugum's old material, but if you want to challenge yourself to get to the real side of kvlt, Vector33 is something to check out.