Released: 2012, Art Of Propaganda
Reviewer: Metal-Rules.com UK Team
Hailing from Paris, France and taking their name from an ancient Gaelic Holiday celebrating Harvest and Fertility, Lugnasad come forward into the Black Metal scene with their debut album Smell Of A Grey Sore. 52 minutes of aggressive, epic and melodic Black Metal.
For a debut album, this is definitely something to perk up the ears of the average Black Metal fan. From the outset the production is powerfully rich and the guitars are layered nicely. The vocals also definitely have an element and influence of Shagrath from Dimmu Borgir as well (despite whether some folks may or may not like them, it’s definitely there to be heard on this album). The drum sound is also very nicely done and blasts out with a nice about of reverb, delay and low end bass to help give the overall sound a more epic and bombastic feel.
The opening track Four In The Fifth Finger is great mid tempo wall of guitars and pounding drums with Vestal’s vocals roaring over the top. The guitar riffs are very varied and melodic as well which just keeps you hooked and listening in from start to finish. The same can be said of the title track of the album, which starts off with ambient recordings of thunder and night time woodland sounds before coming in with a slow almost Doom laden dirge of guitars and drums. The track then builds and builds towards its end and Vestal becomes more and more hysterically aggressive with his vocals to the point where they almost sound like they’re being vomited out. Very cool stuff! Another stand out track is Novus Ordo Seclorum which is one of the faster songs on the album and I think should be a definite song to be played live when these guys tour, it’s a definite “Mosh Pit Starter” once it explodes into the chorus and sounds similar to Watain’s material on their Lawless Darkness Album.
If I had to do a comparison with any other bands to give you readers a rough idea of the sound of this band then I would have to definitely start with Immortal (their more recent melodic material) and Watain. The melodic guitar riffing and mixture of tempos from the crushingly slow to the whirlwind blast beats of more traditional Black Metal are all on this album, and the similarities in style with the bands mentioned above is undeniable. There’s even elements of Melodic Death Metal riffs in the guitar playing that wouldn’t be out of place on a Hypocrisy or Amon Amarth album. Which to this listener is certainly not a bad thing, the more different influences that can be fused together the better!
I’m enjoying this album a great deal even on the first listen and I’m sure it will grow on me even more in time. Each and every track on this album should be enough to satisfy the average Black Metal fan, the riffs are nice and melodic and in some places quite catchy. The drums are nice and varied in their tempo and are not just constant blast beats from start to finish and the vocals have a genuine sound of aggression and power behind them which only helps the credibility of the music. For a debut album this is definitely something for Black Metal fans out there to look at and take note. Here’s hoping Lugnasad can continue to release interesting releases such as this and become a strong name within the world of Black Metal. I think this first album is enough to show that they have the potential to create a very strong album in the future.
Review by Joffie Lovett