Friday, July 26, 2013

Lectamynol - Tools To Wield The Apes

Belgium’s Lectamynol offers up a quick sampling of black, death, and stoner doom on their debut EP “Tools to Wield The Apes.” Just as some bars have a “beer flight” where you get several smaller glasses of various types of beer, Lectamynol offers tastes of sub-genres and styles with this EP. A beer flight lets you quickly compare flavors to find your favorite, and here it is immediately apparent that Lectamynol is strongest when channeling their fastest and most aggressive influences. While not lacking in variety, the multiple flavors of metal in these twelve minutes make it hard to establish a sense of mood. A sip from one style and then the next isn’t as satisfying as a large gulp. This alone isn’t an issue if you are the kind of person that likes listening to playlists of various styles of metal. Style is the operative word here because the band varies their sound more through intensity rather than genre, although slower sections naturally feel more like doom.

The overall sound is similar to later Glorior Belli with much more restrained blues influences and crossed with a dash of Anaal Nathrakh styled single note guitar leads. A large part of what makes the band more interesting during the faster sections is how well the bass guitar matches the energy levels. Smooth and clear on simpler melodies, the bass tone gets noisier when it needs to compete against blast beats. Even something as simple as this helps the band control the intensity, and that is vital with how often it shifts. Although the band has some rough musical transitions, the EP is well balanced between clarity and still having an aggressive sound, crisp without being over-produced. This is especially true of the vocal work which is precise and remains powerful despite its high-pitch. The vocals are the heart of the band’s aggression when they take away the speed. At some points you can clearly hear how they are nicely layered together, double tracking high with low or sustained screams roaring one over another.

Given the liberal use of style changes throughout the rather short EP, it was very confusing to hear a minute long acoustic intro to the third track and also a half-minute final outro of silly noises. These parts wouldn’t have been entirely out of place on a full-length to break up the pace, but only serve here to highlight the band’s stylistic jumps. The fact that Lectamynol could use some focusing is not surprising for a debut release. While the band showcases many different styles, they haven’t shown whether they can pull off a better blending. If you disregard the bluesy intro to “Unleash” you have the most coherent and aggressive track on the EP, and also the most stylistically narrow track. So, even for those who enjoy variety, Lectamynol may be like a brewery with only one good beer. No need for a flight.

No comments: