Dear readers, as you should already know (because I just told you a couple weeks ago!), two Innervenus artists have CDs coming out tomorrow (Tuesday, 12 February 2013)! One of those is the brutal death/thrash/groove/sludge conglomeration known as Lycosa, who will be putting out their debut, self-titled EP.
Considering my professional relationship with the band, as the record label’s PR representative, it didn’t seem appropriate for me to write a review of their album, because it wouldn’t seem objective or unbiased. So I found a neutral outside reviewer who was willing to write about the album and then let me publish it for him. He was a frequent contributor to the “Sign Me To Roadrunner Records” website when I used to spend a lot of time there, and his reviews were always very thoughtful and detailed. So I asked if he’d be willing to discuss this EP, and he graciously agreed…
Lycosa – Lycosa
(12 February 2013, the Innervenus Music Collective)
reviewed by Oldmanin Exilum
Lycosa was formed “spontaneously” in 2010 -– a drummer and his wife (bass) jamming in the basement of their house, together with two friends on vocals and guitar. Beer, friendship and fun, that’s what they describe as their main motivation -– a nice contrast to many casted, enterprise-like projects of these days -– rock n’ roll! Let’s see what they have to offer….
A big, deep explosion coming out of my headphones: downtuned guitars, a dark riff, heavy and atmospheric. Speeding up later, very dynamically driven by a distorted bass. A modern, frantic and powerful voice screams out the first lines of the opening track, “Barbara,” later squeezed through an effect. All based upon a varied form of the opening riff and its countersubject, the verse. After the second verse again this voice effect -– an awful scream while the music is rumbling, dirty, frantic and energetic. The sound is raw, with a good amount of low frequencies, somehow rumbling -– fits in very well for me. It’s not about polished virtuosity (although it’s obvious that they know how to play!), it’s about pure energy.
“Double Barrel” starts out like Beethoven’s symphony No. 5, just with a heavily distorted bass leading into a dirty sleaze rock riff, followed by a frantic, blastbeat driven verse. The hyper-aggressive voice completes it. The tempo is high, the riffing straight but fast and energetic -– just can see the audience sweating! The middle passage is an extremely contrastful dialogue between a slow riff and a faster part, kinda fill in, this characterizes the song very well.
The third track, “Circles,” starts like the two songs before: dark, very heavy, then sped up; in this case not extremely like on “Double Barrel”: a mid-tempo riff underlayed by the frantic drumwork, many rolls and breaks. The exteme voice [is] also characteristic, which reminds me a bit of Jens Kidman (Meshuggah). The contrast comes in the middle, just sped up slightly, but more frantic, which is brought to its climax with a blastbeat element until the main part returns. Very atmospheric, overdubbed screams with a crazy lead guitar aspect. For me the best song up till now, which shows all the qualities of this band within a compact, conclusive structure.
The next song is called “Did We Have Sex?” … what will that sound like?? Theatric, a chromatic motif with clean guitars, counterpointed by a whirling bass and drum breaks. This is worked out in distorted form until the voice enters. If they had sex, it [must] have lead into an awful situation -– [I] will say: the song creates a sick atmosphere, stuttering riffing, screaming artificial harmonics, chromatic harmonical structure; something dreadful is awaiting, something like suffering. This is emphasized very well by the return of the clean guitar, nervously with this heart-attack-causing bass in the background. A frightening picture!
“24 becomes 0” is the name of the following track. It sounds straighter; the slightly “punky” mood of the first two tracks is brought back. The groove is not straight; it is complicated but played very tightly and mixed in a very dirty way. Sounds simple, although it isn’t. The verse riff is very characteristic and repeated a couple of times, which makes it pretty catchy. [I] won’t talk about the end … this is a surprise!
The last song [Editor’s note: this is a bonus track available only on the CD or digital download versions] is -– as far as I can understand -– a cover version of “Burn in Hell” by Twisted Sister. Well, I don’t know the original. But it is a funny song; you recognize the typical hilarious Twisted Sister party rock, but it is far more aggressive, mighty and powerful here. Party rock in a diabolical form.
A nice end for a dirty, raw and energetic metal album, which will be released within the next few days.
Stream or buy the Lycosa EP right here: