Thursday, January 24, 2013
Lightning Swords of Death: Baphometic Chaosium
At first I had an aversion to this band because of their name which I think makes abetter title of a martial arts film. They are the next big underground thing in the hype wagon for 2013, so decided to give the album a shot and I think it's going to work well as an example for the expectations here when in comes to what constitutes a good album. I think the more subjective elements begin to fade away when you looks at a complete work when the questions are asked such as
Are their dynamics?
Are their elements which draw you in for repeat listens?
Is it repetitive or do the have the ability to write different songs rather than rehash?
All these factor in, particular when I'm scoring an album , where the formula is divide the number of good songs by the number of total songs so the score is the percent of good songs on the album. Of course do you think what they are doing? And are they accomplishing the sound they are going for are two big components.
L.S.O.D are accomplishing the later, the album sounds good and is rawly produced in area like the vocals where it serves their sound. Their sound is not that original but they succeed in creating it. The first song " Baphotmetic Chaosium" has a standard thrash like big build intro before the kick in. Here is a good place to explain when it comes to music of this ilk, which often lacks melody and tends to become indistinguishable , what I listen for are the distinguishing characteristics that give them more personality rather than blending in to the thousands of faceless band just playing heavy. The thrash groove here helps do that when set against the song as a whole as well as the solo section so right there we have three elements that stand out to me and are well executed, so good song.
"Acid gate" starts off with straight blasty, which in and of its self is boring. The spoken distortion vocals are unexpected to there is some personality. The thrashier bridge tempo helps switch it up, but the breakdown lands with a bit of a splat, however I like how it transitions back in and the chanted vocal works but they lean to heavily on the blast and it gets boring so only giving this one a half a point...see how that works cool elements but nothing outstanding as a complete song.
"Pyschic Waters" the beginning is a bit a blur, so much so you don't really get a chance to care until the Morbid Angel part pops up for a second and is lost in the blast blitz. The guitars sound like a swarm of bees and nothing draws me in to want to listen.
"Cloven shields" is a sound effect interlude so not a real song onto "Chained to Decay" one of the comparison I had heard that made me want to give this band a shot was Dissection, but don't really hear a lot of their influence , though the slow chug at the beginning of this one is cool. The gurgled rasp of the vocals works better for me than if they had been a guttural low. I like that this song has Ambiance to it and breaks away from the hyper blast. When the guitar rings out melodically it darkens the mood and gives a sense of melodicism.
"R'lyeh Wuurm" back to the blast, which seems to be their easy way out. Sure the drummers feet are fast but it also comes across sounding thin and losing some of their thunder. Though the heavy chug busts in a commands the situation. But one good riff does not make a song.
"Epicyclarium" the clean vocals which are the morbid chant seen earlier reappear at the onset and I think add a lot. It's there almost death rock delivery I like. Sure everything else begins to get carried away in the blur of the blast,but those moments allow the song to breathe and provides the dynamics I spoke of earlier. the crushing riff employed at the three and a half minute mark rocks and the groove that establishes reminds me of Watain. The brief ambiance is unexpected, and let's the bottom fall out but overall I think it works.
"Oaken chrysalis" kicks off thrashier , which at this point a blast beat would have lost its effectiveness. Yet a minute in it shows up for a second to prove my point as the ears are numb to it. The gallop at the end is too little to late and should have been introduced to replace some of the other riffs and it's faded out to earlier into an Ambiant outro which has not real point.
So if you have been counting along at home you know they earned 4.5 points and then doing the math by seven it would give them a 6.4 , so if there had been a unique element I felt made them stud out or realy resonated in some way I could have rounded it up to a 6.4 but I think the monotony of the temps rounds it down to a 6. So still more than halfway solid , it might grown on me and if you are a fan fan of just fast with little need for melody in your trashy black metal you might even be able to call it a seven.