When I first heard rumblings about a band called Lightning Swords of Death, I was pretty skeptical. What a ridiculously over-the-top name. I assumed the band was kind of a joke, fairly or not. So, I ignored things I had heard about them for awhile. Then I started hearing some pretty positive things, that the band was pretty good and that they played a style of blackened thrash metal. Being something of a fan of blackened thrash, I decided one day to actually check them out. That day was last Tuesday after I needed something to take my mind off of the trial. The band is also on Metal Blade and I am a big fan of that record label, so it gave me more reason to check them out.
LSOD (because I don’t want to type the name again) plays a rather primitive, simple form of blackened thrash. The band sounds like they’re going for the early Bathory/Sodom sound, which was the template for black metal for some time. The atmosphere is the key on this album, and it is a very nasty, oppressive atmosphere. The sound is huge, with a lot of bass, thunderous drumming and some decent guitar riffs. The vocals are fairly standard for the genre, guttural rasping screams. The riffs are nothing really special, which is a little disappointing with an album of this genre. The band is much more focused on delivering pain and misery through its creepy atmospherics. They definitely succeed on that point.
"Damnation Pentastrike" is probably the best track on the album. It features some of the best riffing and the best example of the oppressive atmosphere. The only real complaint is the several minutes of ambient noise in the last track "Paths to Chaos".
This is a good, short, fast album to listen to when you want something to beat you down. It would probably make pretty decent workout music actually. I like the album quite a bit, but it may take more than a couple listens to really get into it. The sound does remind me of some of the Australian bands such as Razor of Occam and Destroyer 666, but it’s not as evil and raw-sounding. It’s still a ridiculous name though.