Monday, August 24, 2015

THY DARKENED SHADE - Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet (2014)

Black metal comes in many different forms and generate different experiences for the listener. Some is more in-your-face and violent, whereas others produce more of an atmosphere of desolation and deep introspection, and of course some manage to bridge that gap between the two. Thy Darkened Shade have taken that road with a few twists as well as fanatical prayers and called it Liber Lvcifer I: Khem Sedjet, inviting us into the mysterious portals of their sovereignty.

Hailing from Greece, Thy Darkened Shade do not conform to the melodic heavy metal brand of black metal that seems to emanate from the region. With Liber Lvcifer, they instead endeavor to take the intricate riffing style from technical death metal and translate it into a black/death metal musical language.

This is an album that is constantly moving, constantly twisting, and constantly evolving, determined to show us several different shades of the void as it contorts desperately in countless directions. There’s a sense of zealous urgency pervading on Liber Lvcifer that truly shows that its death metal colors outshine its black metal colors. This album builds atmosphere through showing various layers of intensity and contemplation that spiral into a brooding, empty dominance. Like the universe being fiercely pulled back towards the singularity, and then vanishing.

The only drawback to this album is the fact that the clean vocal chants are overused to the point where they tend to take you out of the experience occasionally, in contrast to drawing you in and developing mood.

As a whole, Thy Darkened Shade have constructed a wonderfully original work that doesn’t wholly forsake the traditional imprints of the genre, but liberally injects its own interpretation.

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