I was recently contacted by a fine gentleman from the Innervenus Music Collective, telling me about the upcoming CD release party for two bands: Lycosa and Grisly Amputation. I always love hearing about new bands and music. Though the release party itself is a little outside my abilities to attend, I felt that the bands had talent and potential. And, as it's a dual album release party, I thought a dual album review was in order! So here you are, a little look into the demented music of these death metal diehards.
Sludge, fuzz, and an abundance of vocal dissonance! Pittburgh-based metallers, Lycosa, are set to release this self-titled EP soon, and let me tell you, I like it. It's a short five song offering (with the added bonus of Twisted Sister's “Burn In Hell”) and it does a fine job displaying the talents of this band. While the songs are a bit rough around the edges, which I feel is partly intended, that doesn't prevent you from getting caught up with the energy of the music. From the beginning of the Night Of The Living Dead-inspired “Barbara”, we're engulfed by a combination of sludge-filled guitar riffs and fuzztone basslines. The music gallops forward, pushing us through their lyrical scenery, only occasionally slowing down to get its footing and change direction. The vocalist, Leech, provides us with what many have come to expect of death metal growling, though he includes pig squeals briefly during one track. For those that enjoy pig squealing, just know that it isn't very prevalent here. For those that don't like that style of singing, just understand that it passes quickly.
Lyrically this EP fluctuates between two extremes: heartfelt emotions and graphic violence and gore. For those of you who like your death metal to be happy-go-lucky, this may not be your cup of tea. More like a cup of curdled blood. Additionally, while I've read them described as having similarities to Pantera and Megadeth, I personally can't hear it. They may very well be inspired by those bands to some degree, but stylistically Lycosa stand apart from those two thrashers. Despite this discrepancy, Lycosa has a sound that has potential to grow and become even more impactful. Leech, as well as Chris [drums], Amy [bass], and Tree [guitar] are in a position to develop their playing to greater fields of artistry. Their arrangement of“Burn In Hell” is a fine example, which was entertaining to me and unique enough to be nearly unrecognizable when compared to the original. Fans of death and thrash metal would do well to lend an ear to this short EP, lest they be disemboweled.
Stream the EP here!
I'm not a big movie buff. In most situations this isn't a huge problem, but here I seem to be at a disadvantage. All but the last two tracks begins with motion picture soundbytes, setting the stage for the song to come. I had to do a search of quotations, but some of the highlights include excerpts from the anti-drug movie “Reefer Madness”, Nicholas Cage's “Drive Angry”, “Gangs Of New York”and “Hellraiser II”. Following these bytes is a raw mix of instrumentation, straightforward in its intent of gruesome, vile moodsetting. The dual guitar work combines in a sludgy mixture, blanketing the bass guitar (though it makes rare guest appearances), leaving the drums to keep the tempo. While this rough mix might have been intended to some degree, there's plenty of room for improvement in their sound to allow all the instruments to be more distinguishable.
Lyrically, the band seems firmly planted. While I don't particularly enjoy the subject matter of decaying flesh, VD-infected anal spawn and cannabalism, I must admit that there are some poetic gems on this disc. If you haven't just eaten, you may find beauty in lines such as:
“My chainsaw is my paintbrush
Your body makes the perfect canvas
Give your existence a purpose
Mutilated body sections.”
While the music doesn't really do much for me, I feel like those who are into this style would do well to give the band a chance. Even if I don't like what they do, I feel like they do it well and have the potential to improve their sound.
This band disturbs my girlfriend.
Stream the whole album here!