LYCUS, portray great maturity and diversity on their second full length effort, while serving a genre (if, for the sake of conversation, one can feel at ease placing them inside the limits of a particular genre) that can easily be misunderstood, by both fans and musicians. While being labeled as “funeral doom”, they stay away from most of the negative aspects that weigh down – at least from my point of view- many bands in that scene; they are not monotonous, they do not lack imagination, and they certainly do not play miserable tunes, just for the sake of being miserable.

On their sound settings, one can find a sense of grandeur (faintly approximating a more brutal version of PALLBEARER) and an –ironically- almost uplifting vibe, emanating from their grief. For that result to come, a great deal is owed to their decisions, on the influences they decided to stir in their abysmal cauldron. The crashing sound of neo-death/doom guitars collides with the gothic majesty radiating from serpentine blackened riffs, inspired by the German and Central Europe schools of black metal; and truly, there is some serious guitar work going on in here.

LYCUS, do not play excruciatingly slow and repetitively, neither do they get lost in a torrent of soul aching violence (like USNEA for example). Their mid tempo pace, lays open all their multi layered guitar work for the listener to enjoy, at times even hinting towards the direction of old school, rotten yet epic, Finnish death metal. The last riff of “Obsidian Eyes” is a great example of the “power through misery” policy of LYCUS, nearly evoking a religious like awe and they deserve some congratulations concerning the sparse, yet highly effective use, of choir style vocals on the background.

LYCUS, don’t beat around the bush, they are here to build up a feeling through every song and they do it well. Slightly theatrical, but fully artistic in their core with the gorgeous painting/cover art, the meaningful acoustic parts and the excellent use of the cello, being a testament to that. They create a labyrinth of notes, at the center of which resides a bundle of emotions, ranging from despair to catharsis. The great flow of the songs, renders them as small journeys and the imaginative transitions and changes keep the element of surprise alive, throughout the album. It’s really no wonder that some songs took almost two years to perfect.

Chasms” lost me at some points –based on personal taste criteria- due to the fact that, for some extended periods of time the really harsh, guttural vocals, accompanied by some extremely sorrowful melodies and riffs, create a blend that is too much to bear. I’ve always favored the “majestic” feeling over the “depressing” and I truly love these bands that can balance those two perfectly, but LYCUS , sometimes, roll a bit too much “on the dark side”. Their music and the inward reflection that evokes, can be quite a tricky deal, especially, if you’re in a disturbed place, mentally. However, if you loved the tremendous debut by CHRCH, and you are on the search, for a band that skillfully infuses skull crushing doom sound, with elements from many of our beloved genres of extreme metal, look no further. “Chasms” is a musical journey, surely worth investing your time into!

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