Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lightning Swords of Death: The Extra Dimensional Wound (2010) Review

The didn't quite have me at "hello". They had me at "Lightning Swords of Death". In contrast to Metallattorney, I think the name is excellent, and captures the spirit of the band well. Apparently they've been around for several years and have worked their way to where they are now: signed to Metal Blade and getting an excellent review from Decibel.

I'm not really sure what genre label to put on this. Black metal? Maybe--the excellent vocals are black metal, and they seem to draw from both the death-influenced Swedish school and the bombastic Norwegian one (see "Nihilistic Stench"). Blackened thrash metal? Sometimes--the title track definitely fits the bill, but as Metallattorney observed they're not so much about riffs as they are about atmospherics. Blackened death metal? Well, there are definitely moments, like "Invoke the Desolate One".

Whatever genre tag you want, they play a form of gritty, dirty extreme metal that has a purely American sense of simultaneous reverence and irreverence, equal parts love for the music and over-the-top self-parody. That's just the way I like it. Besides the band's name, look at some song titles to get a feel for their attitude.

"Damnation Pentastrike" is likely the highlight of the album, with its varying tempos, riffs, and great atmosphere. But even with the acoustic/atmospheric interlude "Zwartgallig" coming a third of the way in, there's really only one low point. That's the extensive ambient noise section in the middle of the closing track (I don't mind a little bit, but it just goes on too long).

The Verdict: This is very convincing extreme metal that draws from a lot of influences, and it's done well. Their American sensibilities and irreverent approach could make them more accessible to US listeners, a gateway into black metal for the budding extreme metaller. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I like this album quite a bit. I had often seen them described as blackened thrash and for the reasons you stated, I think that's wrong. Blackened death would be the tag I would be inclined to go with.