Reviewed: July 2022
Released: 2022, Total Dissonance Worship
Reviewer: Simon Wiedemann
The ironically named Light Dweller are a blackened death metal act from Arizona, on the aptly named Total Dissonance Worship Records. The act began in late 2017 from nothing but a collection of riff ideas, and since then it has developed a unique sound. Everything was performed, programmed, recorded, mixed and mastered by Cameron Boesch. A man who, I think, is in need of immediate therapy. The artist’s goal is not to fit in, but to write unconventional music that fulfils his inner vision. He released his latest album ‘Lucid Offering’ on 21st June 2022, and it follows three LPs and one EP. Hopefully there will be even more in the future!
How to start this review? Hm. How about a one word start?: Wow. Even for such a genre, the music is particularly horrifying here. Just a couple of minutes is intense enough, but a whole album?? Jeez. From the start, it seems the band is doing everything it possibly can to sound as terrifying as possible, in fact. The note choices are extremely dissonant, the beats and riffs are just pure chaos, even subtle ideas such as briefly pressing down the whammy bar add to the utter misery. The lowing of pitch kind of brings to mind someone dying. As in ‘nooooo’… This is hell. Fortunately the second track slows down in its middle section creating some variety. Boring? No. The way it slows has a very chilling effect. It’s like watching a horrific scene in slow motion. Then it speeds up again in an instant, scaring the living poo out of you.
I don’t know what demented chords are used in Kaleidoscope of Thorns at 01:18, but damn. Personally I’d play them even more. If something so simple can be so effective, I say milk it. Like the Smoke on the Water riff. I’m not saying any of this stuff lightly, this review is coming from someone who has heard literally hundreds of black metal albums. This is by far one of the very ‘worst’. One of the flaws of this album however, is the way there is pretty much only one mood. There’s nothing wrong with adding lighter parts here and there. If done correctly, such parts would only make the darker parts sound darker. KoT does have (relatively) calmer sections that are not at all wussy, though. Very nice. The end of the track and the beginning of Spiritual Eclipse have some new creepy a.f. drawn out synth chords adding to the textures nicely, but they arrived a little too late for me.
In conclusion, I was going to give a 4 out of 5 to this band, as it will make the stomachs turn of all but the most hardened metalheads. However, it is very much a one trick pony, so then I thought a 3.5 was fair. Then I thought, no, a 4 is well deserved. After all, this guy is taking the genre to its absolute limit, he has a unique sound, and my God is he not attempting to be commercial. (Unless he is insane, which he might be). Usually I complain about fake sounding drums, but here having a groove is not so important. If the band needs computers to sound as chaotic as possible, good luck to it. Recommended! (For the brave).