Amidst heavy guitars, ritualistic drums and enthralling melodies, Lycus raise their head howling. The band from California brings their debut album, Tempest, their first release since their Demo MXII, and they succeed in crafting funeral doom of the highest quality. The slow pace of the songs is enriched with Lycus’s stunning melodies, mournful leads, deep growls as well as howling screams, the use of violin and clean chants. All of these give Tempest the edge it needs to become a towering example of extreme heavy music.
The sound of the band brings back memories of the excellent Asunder, especially due to the use of the solemn guitar leads, but you soon understand that Lycus are a different kind of beast. The bleak atmosphere is immediately brought forth from the first notes of the opening track, “Coma Burn.” The ambiance is set and there is no escaping this album anymore. The deep growls echo inside your mind, making your sanity shudder while the sorrowful leads and splendid violin start to affect the emotional side of the psyche.
The clean parts, for instance the one found within the second half of “Engravings,” act like sanctuaries from Lycus’s desolate musical settings. But after a while the realization hits you: these parts are just used to further lure into the bands feverish dreams of lunacy. Especially the beginning of the self-titled track has a circling hypnotic tonality to it, from which there is no escape. There is no salvation here; the only lurking emotions in this record are those of devastation, melancholy and everything between the two.
Their blackened moments are the only place where the band and the listener might find catharsis, also proving that Lycus are comfortable with speeding things up a fair bit. All three tracks include these passages, creating a perfect storm within the band’s doom mentality, the most impressive instance of their intensity being the closing track, “Tempest,” with the band patiently building up the song until it finally erupts into a devastating black metal assault before it retreats to its original funeral doom state to finally be laid to rest with an impressive eight minute long minimalistic outro.
In a genre such as funeral doom, most bands choose to try and do things the easy way, relying just on the slow pace and heavy guitars. Well, Lycus are doing much more than that. They include influences from some of the best that doom/death had to offer in the early 90s and they are defiant enough to make the extra mile in order to get a sound that is a shade darker than the rest, and it works. Tempest, is an album that shatters your mind, it creates a mesmerizing vortex of dissonance and sorrowful melody from which you will not want to turn away.
9.5 / 10
Jackson Heath (Lycus, guitar/vocals) SPB: You manage to build an impressive atmosphere in your records which also enhances your lyrical themes. What inspires your ...
Posted Jan. 28, 2015, 12:22 p.m.
Lycus has announced that the band will release their sophomore record later this year on Relapse Records. The Oakland group last released The Tempest via 20 Buck Spin Records in ...
Posted Oct. 21, 2014, 3:42 p.m.
One of our features here at Scene Point Blank is our semi-daily quickie Q&A: One Question Interviews. Follow us at facebook or twitter and we'll post one interview ...
Posted July 16, 2013, 6:05 p.m.
The Tempest from Lycus is streaming in full at Cvlt Nation. The debut LP from the Oakland band was released earlier this month on 20 Buck Spin and will be ...
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