Released: 2013, Gilead Media/Mordgrimm
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing from Cambridge, England, and joining the ever-burgeoning ranks of this kind of new- new wave of British black metal, Lychgate have bought their own aggressive, experimental style to the table with their eponymous debut.
British extreme music has never been afraid to smash through genre-defining boundaries, and you feel that’s what Lychgate is aiming for here. Although ultimately rooted in BM, the band takes a more self-proclaimed avant-garde approach than perhaps many more traditional BM bands, and it works well.
The usual dischordant, tremolo picked passages are there, but utilised with a more unusual choice of scale, harmony and rhythm. The track list is well chosen and the songs seem to have their own progression, with enough going on to easily keep your attention throughout the duration of the album, even for someone as preoccupied as myself.
I think my favourite track on the album might change depending on my mood, such is the variation involved here. Standout moments for me include the Morbid Angel influenced ‘In Self Ruin,’ and the understated orchestration and screwface inducing blast beats on ‘Triumphalism.’
A thoroughly fine sounding recording, with every instrument holding it’s own but in firm solidarity with the band as a whole. According to the press pack, the songs on this album are based on Lychgate’s older material, stemming from way back in 2002.
I hope the next album does not take so long to surface and I look forward to hearing any new direction the band may take with their own expansion of the BM sound.
Review by Kevin Griffiths