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A beneficial change for black metal - 93%

Depersonalizationilosophy, May 9th, 2013

If Charles Darwin were alive he’d be proud and in awe before the very art in front of him. Hypothetically speaking if Lychgate were a rare specimen. Natural selection has deemed this creation of superior genetics and environmental adaptation. Lychgate is not simply a black metal band, no sir. They are everything at once but at the same time not (black metal breached in the sub-fields of progressive, symphonic, atmospheric, and avant-garde). Lychgate is made-up of members from different acts such as Esoteric, The One, Lunar Aurora, and Omega Centauri. They’re all experienced and wise. Judging from this self-titled album, they definitely have an understanding music on a grander scale. Even though there are the styles of black metal I spoke of earlier, it’s used in an articulate way. You figure it would be especially difficult to apply so many elements without fault representing itself. Yes quite but Lychgate somehow accomplished that goal. This is the direction and evolution black metal needs. These guys have managed to show what research is about. Someone who can objectively observe and use their findings to represent everything.

First thing I’d like to discuss is symphonic black metal, typing it sends shivers of disgust down my spine. Relatively speaking, Lychgate have little to no affiliation to said genre. In fact when done right the sound is tolerable. I only mentioned it because of the use of an organ to inject haunting reservoirs of cryptic uprising. The closest comparison I can make in classifying this is atmospheric black metal overall but avant-garde black metal collectively. According to their Facebook page, they identified themselves as art black metal which I find suitable because this is art of the finest taste.

Next let’s talk about conservation. Black metal is a diverse deal and even after all its branching that’s happened throughout its evolution, one thing that keeps it true is its ability to carry its roots no matter how well one is indulged in multiculturalism. Sure there are plenty of bands who glorify the inception of the second-wave of black metal and that’s just fine. Lychgate have a huge respect for it and it shows authentic conservation with the help of Aran (Lunar Aurora). The traditional bass sound is omnipresent throughout the album and perfectly captures the audacious ideas from the rest of his counterparts. It’s clearly shown on “In Self Ruin”. I like how it dwells away from traditional black metal yet can still keep fiercely well-connected blast beats and a ferocious fitting solo intertwined with a traditional black metal bass. That’s one thing; another trait crucial for black metal is the representation of a soul, in other words, expression, whether it’d be through hatred, sadness, sadism, isolation, or aggression, etc. but with intense passion.

It’s safe to say all musicians did indeed exhibit such a quality but the one who had a bit more of an edge was G. A. Chandler (Esoteric). His vocals were something else. Distant, cold, and dark they were. It varied from long and deep narrow-corridor growls to distant and mysterious screams. “Dust of a Gun Barrel” is the perfect example and my favorite song from the self-titled album. Impact was further shown on “Sceptre To Control” where there are blast-beats and an underlying rhythm speeding up the song but at the same time subdued and controlled by the assertive vocal prowess.

As the vocals had a tendency to tremble distortion of time, drums in the same respect accomplished like-mindedly. On the contrary to what I have explained in my review so far it’s not all blast-beats. In fact, I dislike musicians who hide behind them and are dependent on them, not T. J. F. Vallely (Omega Centauri). Blast-beats only account for about 23% here and throughout that entire percentage they were used creatively, fiercely, and passionately. Vallely’s real regard is shown in overall delivery. What all these musicians have equally in common is atmosphere.

Originally written for www.metal-temple.com