Lycus - Demo CS
2011, Graceless Recordings
This amazing demo by Lycus is one of the better heavy doom releases of last year and possibly even of the last handful of years or so. It features only three songs but they are of such a quality and execution it's hard to do them justice. Lycus plays a slow, dirgelike and crushingly heavy kind of doom metal with such fantastic emotional delivery I was blown away the first time I sat through it. The riffing is some of the very best I've heard in recent time, the melancholy, solemn melodies are simply beautiful and so charged they make the hairs on my arms stand up. There are aspects to their music that are close to, or draw their influences from, traditional heavy metal (only alot slower) as well as post-metal/post-rock; and while the song structures are traditional in the sense that they use tension build-up and release there is nothing traditional to their songwriting. There are no verses and no choruses as such. Even the vocals feel secondary to the music. And save for the deep guttural growling this has nothing to do with sludge either - this is pure doom, with the exception of a brief blast of black metal aggression and speed on the final track. There is a monastic quality to some of the dirgy clean vocals and harmonies, which lend everything yet another layer of complexity and depth. Often the melodies remind me of the those of Ride The Lightning/Master Of Puppets/AJFA-era Metallica, with lots of somber emotion and majestic themes. Even though we only have less than a handful of songs here the total playtime of this demo is almost thirty minutes, which means that all three songs get the time to build and expand and develop organically in their own respective ways. I can't properly describe how eminently fucking awesome this cassette is. You NEED to hear this! It's too good to miss out on. This cassette version is all sold out but the vinyl version is available from Flenser Records and the band's Bigcartel webstore here. And if you don't want a physical copy it's avaliable as a pay-what-you-like kinda deal at their bandcamp site.