THE CONTAGION IN NINE STEPS
BLOOD MUSIC ESOTERIC FRONTMAN RETURNS TO HIS PARALLEL DIMENSION OF DREAD
Within two minutes this blackdoom quintet’s third album has set out a gripping array of disparate strengths, compelling from the first madly stabbed church organ, through skew-whiff prog-sludge riffing, past stately cascades of medieval guitar to the guttural proclamations of Greg Chandler, whose pedigree stretches 25 years with ambient funeral doom pioneers Esoteric and countless immaculate studio credits. No wonder Lychgate sound so spot on, the LP unfolding like a creepycrawl around a haunted cathedral, sweet choral melodies rising in one ear, demonic whispers echoing around the other. With guitars upfront, the organ is more restrained than previously – less strident pomp, more spectral dread – and while The Contagion… superficially contains more doom than black metal, the modes are inextricably interwoven. What distinguishes it most is the sublime blend of solemn, elegant melody and terrifyingly abstruse extremity.
FOR FANS OF: ESOTERIC, EMPEROR, BLUT AUS NORD