Wednesday 22 July 2015

Review: Lychgate – 'An Antidote For The Glass Pill'

'An Antidote For The Glass Pill'

Having only officially come into life in 2012, Lychgate are fast making a name for themselves as one of the most cerebral bands to emerge from the avant garde arm of the extreme metal scene. The band – which features a host of well-travelled veterans from acts such as Esoteric, The One, Macabre Omen, Luna Aurora, and Omega Centauri – distil a diverse range of styles and influences into a richly layered assault of decadence and malevolence. Melodic elements reminiscent of the likes of Dissection intersperse a primarily gothic-tinged black metal framework that draws on the likes of Emperor and Abigor while the dense dark atmosphere of funeral doom acts like Esoteric create a thick shroud around it.

The album ties each track together with the grandiose use of the pipe organ. Now this is something that can set alarm bells off due to the fact that there have been many acts that have used it poorly and relegated it to the cheesy gothic end of the spectrum. However, in the hands of Lychgate it takes on its full glory and is a perfect addition to the band's rich sound.

Songs such as 'Davamesque B2', 'I Am Contempt', 'Letter XIX', 'An Acousmatic Guardian', and 'My Fate To Burn Forever' show of the band's full glory as the avant garde song structures unveil blistering black metal, demonic vocals, and sumptuous melodies all in the same breath. The song writing is complex and intelligent, and the execution of each song is carried off with ease and grace.
In terms of the production, it is true that the album is dense, multi-layered, and full of little flourishes and embellishments. And while in the hands of less experienced musicians, the album would run the risk of sounding like a thick slab, Lychgate have instead kept the sense of space and distance between all the elements in the mix that are required to give it that cathedral like presence.

'An Antidote For The Glass Pill' is quite simply a must-have album for anyone that is a fan of acts such as Emperor, Ihsahn, Dimmu Borgir, Arcturus, and Esoteric, as well as anyone with a leaning towards avant garde metal. The album is a wonderfully thick and atmospheric, while at the same time unrelentingly brutal. Lychgate are definitely a name to watch if they can keep on creating masterpieces like this.  

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