Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lysura - II

I couldn't think of a single thing I could give a shit about in Indianapolis. I don't like racing, I don't like football and I don't expect there to be a hockey team there any time soon. I even looked up every band in the city just to make sure I wasn't forgetting anyone. I wasn't. Other than Gates of Slumber - who to me are a bottle of Corona in a vast beer paradise of infinite other options - I didn't even recognize any other bands (a lapse in knowledge which I will be sure to close in the coming days) and so, Lysura, now promoting this second demo simply titled II with shows this summer and past spring - including one at St. Vitus in May which I think I went to but I don't remember - seem to be doing a good job at making The Circle City notable in the metal world. Their brand of black metal, doom and death metal cooked to a light crustiness rides the wave of bands combining the slow elements and sludgy overtones with black metal riffs but joins the parade near the rear of the pack, with the local cowboy club, senior citizen checkers group and police chase car.

Slower moments, especially the end of first track "Seasons In Exile" do well to contrast the different influences without sounding like a mish-mash. Tremolo picked melodies over churning plunky bass licks and screamed vocals are on display in "Tome of Surreption" as well. The second track, with brief clean guitar sections strewn about the composition, is still what I would call a faster track, and chugged accents find niches to crawl into during these areas. The two songs are equal lengths, but focus on different aspects of the band. "Seasons In Exile" provides a more temporal experience through the usage of slower riffs, melodic movement and texture whereas "Tome of Surreption" is more immediate and aggressive. Guitarist Max Otworth doubles as vocalist and in scratchy yelps akin to Carcass' Jeff Walker and Arsis' James Malone is really the harshest aspect of Lysura. Production wise, the guitars and bass are somewhat thin and gentle and drums of Eric Barnes, though well played like the rest of the instrumentation is just somewhat underwhelming in largeness.

The sixteen minute demo packs a lot of memorable moments but more material provided would give a better hint of whether the band can produce a full record capable of holding interest. It's a big problem in this style for me - songs that are too long by virtue of expectation, while extraneous sections and untimely pitter-patter arrive like a maligned coworker at your desk on what was a good day. While I like the idea here, of two songs of the same length, both different in pacing and focus, offering the band a ready-to-go 7" option should a label want to do something of the sort I don't think this is the best of what this band has. It's a little dry, lacking much atmosphere other than the feeling of being live and natural - which it definitely is. It's not particularly evil, or dark, or melancholy and it doesn't seem relaxed or sublime; II really seems to lack any real discernable emotions at all and so, unfortunately, this doesn't match up with some of my favorites in this style of the last couple years, like Velnias' majestic RuneEater or Hivelords' chilling Cavern Apothecary.

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