Thursday, December 22, 2011
Lugubrum - Face Lion Face Oignon (2011)
Country: Lovendegem, Belgium
Style: Experimental/Avant-Garde Black Metal
Label: Aphelion Productions
Lugubrum is one of those band's who's just always been odd, but in a good way. It's a band who has a pretty wide discography, seeing as they've been around since 1992, but haven't had the time to really go back and listen to it all the way I would like to. From what I have listened to though, I can tell you that you will be hard pressed to find another band that sounds like them.
Within this album's opening track, El Arish, you will find several ideas that will most likely turn you off if you like aggressive and more traditional forms of black metal. The post-punk-ish guitar riff, jazzy bass-lines, breakdown, and solo, and what sounds like hand percussion with your normal black metal rasp over the top of it, signaling all kvltists to stay away. This is just the opening track mind you, the rest of the album doesn't get any clearer in terms of style. Lugubrum have, for about for about the last decade or so, been juggling various influences and mixing them with black metal, from ska to electronic, and none of it normal sounding. Tracks on here often shift around from style to style, some more radically than others, hear the folk/psychedelic black metal/electronic fusion on Jaffa. Though that's not to say you don't have more straightforward, almost punk-esque, moments on here, but straightforward in the case of Lugubrum is still strange compared to many other groups.
When I was looking up stuff for this review, on last.fm, where they list similar bands, I saw Circle of Ouroborus and it struck me that they might be the only band that is really comparable to Lugubrum. While I can say with certainty that Lugubrum is a lot more experimental than their Finnish counterparts, the raw production, and this is nowhere near as lo-fi as CoO's stuff, but there are similar sort of tendencies toward bleak atmospheres and extremely weird vocals. Various vocal styles are utilized from guttural growling to typical black metal rasps to what could be described as drunken throat warbling, as well as a couple others. So I would say that Lugubrum is the weirder of the two bands, but that's what probably makes them harder to get into.
This is certainly a weird record, and that's only one reason to love it, the ideas are just so weird I can't help but not like it. This is my bread-and-butter in terms of music, I'm naturally inclined towards liking stuff like this so I'm biased. If you want to hear some pretty weird, kind-of black metal, definitely check out Lugubrum.
Overall Score: 8.5
Highlights: Acre I, Acre II