March 14, 2020

Tints of Obsidian - EP Edition

By Justin C. Once again, we present some takes on black metal bands--which of course has nothing to do with some other site’s black metal roundups. Any resemblance in name or purpose are purely coincidental. Black-death-doom-other band Lychgate has been making wild, hard-to-categorize metal for close to a decade now
By Justin C.

Once again, we present some takes on black metal bands--which of course has nothing to do with some other site’s black metal roundups. Any resemblance in name or purpose are purely coincidental.

Artwork by Khaos Diktator Design.

Black-death-doom-other band Lychgate has been making wild, hard-to-categorize metal for close to a decade now, and over three full lengths and their new EP, Also Sprach Futura, they’ve made music to fire up your mind and body. This EP doesn’t diverge too much from the singular sound they’ve developed--including the unmistakable strains of a pipe organ--but they do what they do so well that it doesn’t really matter. The spooky, almost-jazzy interlude in “Progeny of the Singularity” makes for a subtle break from the chaos, but album-closer “Vanity Ablaze,” with its staccato shouts over artillery drumming, will get your engine revving again. If you haven’t checked out this band, this EP makes for a more manageable intro to their dense sound.


Artwork by Aghy Purakusuma.

Pure Wrath self-identifies as melancholic black metal, and the label is particularly apt for their newest EP, The Forlorn Soldier. Although there are only three tracks here, the emotional impact is high. The EP deals with the 1965 genocide in Indonesia, part of a Western-backed anti-communist purge, a mass murder in which an international panel found that the U.S., the U.K., and Australia were all complicit in. Pure Wrath’s musical take matches that darkness. “When a Great Man Dies” might come charging out of the gate like standard, high-energy melodic black metal, but anything “standard” about this track goes out the window with the addition of an off-kilter piano riff that suddenly comes out of nowhere. The heavy emotional toll quickly becomes clear, and it’s amplified in the long, closing track, “With Their Names Engraved.” The track, at times, feels more like funeral doom than black metal, at least in spirit, allowing for rage and quiet mourning to coexist. Another highly recommended entry in this band’s catalog, and possibly one of their most affecting.

2 comments:
  1. Obsidian is not necessarily black. In fact, the most prized color in Mesoamerican was GREEN obsidian.

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