Saturday, February 1, 2014

Lycus: Tempest (2013)

I discovered Lycus some time ago when I was seeking out funeral doom metal bands on Bandcamp.  I had looked into their 2011 demo at that time.  I noted that the band was a little faster for a funeral doom metal band and that their sound was probably more closely-related to doom metal bands with death metal vocals.  Overall, my impression was pretty positive and I even mentioned looking forward to this release.  Well here it is.

Lycus has put together a very worthy successor to their 2011 demo.  They still play a little bit faster than many of their funeral doom contemporaries.  The riffs move a little faster and the atmosphere is not quite as hopeless and desolate as say Evoken.  The melodies flow a little bit smoother and the compositions feel much more like complete songs than like random instrument noodling.

The band does a great job at creating a bleak atmosphere that is driven by the ultra-deep guttural growls and the incredibly slow guitar melodies.  The pounding drums keep things nice and heavy.  Once per track though, Lycus speeds things up to the point that it is almost a slower death/doom.  These moments are complemented by tremolo riffs and shrieked vocals.  These are often the most impressive parts of each track.  But these moments are fleeting and soon the devastation and desolation returns.

The last seven or eight minutes of closing track "Tempest" are a little unnecessary.  The song is basically over, it just keeps going with some ambient noise for awhile.  Not much else.  Cutting it out entirely would help the flow a lot more.

Funeral doom is still a very underground genre with very few well-known bands.  If Lycus keeps putting out records like this, they stand a very good chance of leaping to the front of the genre.


  1. I was kind of disappointed with this one, largely because they just dragged it out too long, but also because I didn't care for the production.

  2. I was looking at this one, but I didn't end up picking it up. This review intrigues me, though, so maybe I'll give it a whirl at some point.