Lychgate - An Antidote for the Glass Pill
Blood Music
Progressive Black Metal
10 songs (49:49)
Release year: 2015
Reviewed by Charles
The other week I reviewed Myrkur’s album and necessarily this involved some discussion of whether it deserved to be called ‘original’ or not. It did have an unusual and distinctive sound, but the actual musical ideas were quite clearly derived from elsewhere. Lychgate, without wanting to overstate things, are a much better example of a black metal band genuinely heading into new territory. Their self-titled was one of my favourite albums of 2013 and now they are continuing to explore this very odd and compelling little niche they have created; in spirit somewhere close to the grandiose menace of later Emperor, but also deeply imbued with the grotesque and eccentric darkness of the likes of Esoteric (Greg Chandler is also in Lychgate).

The freakish church organ sound is even more centralised here than on its predecessor. It is a wonderfully bizarre centrepiece: sometimes it is used to ramp up the Baroque atmosphere with its little trills and arpeggios, and at other times it conveys this kooky prog feel, like a blackened version of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Some of the tracks here are disorienting. Davamesque B2, for example, begins with these shrill, oddly-angled melodic lines in the lead guitar, underpinned by rapidfire organ twinkling, before it all suddenly disperses into an ominous mid-tempo section featuring menacing string stabs. Or the hyperactive key hammering on I Am Contempt, which melts into rich, booming chords and screechy flashes of lead solo: the sound is theatrical and cavernous in the same way as Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk.

Lychgate is very good at taking these strange, seemingly shapeless passages and twisting them suddenly into hair-raising climaxes. An example here is Letter XIX, which starts out with these misshapen rhythms and curiously meandering melodic lines, before suddenly being roughly yanked into this dissonant unison hammering across the entire band. It is quite cacophonous and freakish, and a perfect encapsulation of this new force in black metal.

Killing Songs :
Davamesque B2, Letter XIX
Charles quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Lychgate that we have reviewed:
Lychgate - Also sprach Futura reviewed by Andy and quoted no quote
Lychgate - The Contagion in Nine Steps reviewed by Goat and quoted 70 / 100
Lychgate - Lychgate reviewed by Charles and quoted 88 / 100
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