Time Lurker, the one-man project from France, is releasing its debut, self-titled record. Coming out from Les Aucteurs de l'Ombre, it is easy to get a first idea about what type of sound to expect. The label specializes in the more adventurous side of black metal, and its experimental and atmospheric edges, with the most famous alumni in their roster being The Great Old Ones.
Time Lurker showcases a similar perspective to the post-black metal scene. The majority of this work is established through its atmospheric qualities, displayed early on in the record, making it a key element of Time Lurker's identity. But, it is not only the solitary moments of ambient galore that display this tendency of creating a scenery and exploring the darkness of such spaces. Within black metal parts the atmosphere still prevails, working around the standard black metal riffs and their post interpretations. A nice touch is the lo-fi approach in “Judgment” which pays an homage of sorts to the earlier days of the genre, which is a different take in achieving an ambient, and old-school, sound.
In terms of progression, the band nicely couples the atmospheric tone with post-metal structures in the motifs it implements. The longer tracks provide sufficient time for setting up the soundscapes and building compelling narratives, and also create more room for sonic exploration. The ideas mainly come through the guitars, which while on one hand hold firmly the melodic element, on the other they are able to provide bigger and more impactful moments, as in “Judgment” and its epic riff work. This is what lies in the essence of Time Lurker. An affection towards the post-black metal style, but also a push towards its more melodic edge.
Moments of vigorous black metal brutality of course are present, with the band going into a terrifying mode and unleashing their most raw characteristics, leaving aside their melodic nature. “No Way Out From Manking” brilliantly showcases this ability, while the furious tone of “Whispering From Space” has a similar effect. And by also at times dropping down the tempo they are able to further explore elements of groove and pacing, as in “Ethereal Hands” and the second half of “Rupture.”
Overall, Time Lurker has composed and executed really well within the boundaries of the sound he has set for himself. The post structures and the black metal core are depicted nicely, but the band does not seem to go into any further exploration into adjacent areas. A few parts in the album suggested such a tendency, as in the abstract themes presented in “Reborn” crafting a distinctly different space from the rest of the album, or in the eerie quality that “Passage” investigates. It will be good to see whether these are addressed more in the future and incorporated within main structures and alongside the post-black metal body of work.
7.3 / 10
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