Let us not mince words here. Lycus, hailing from Oakland, CA, are a doom band. If you want to get cute and call them “funeral doom” that would be completely acceptable. But make no mistake that if you were to look up “doom” in Noah Webster’s lasting gift to mankind that a picture of the album cover for Tempest would most likely make an appearance.
One would suspect that you don’t put out an album clocking in around the 40 minute mark, have only three songs listed, and get away with calling it anything other than doom. You also don’t put out music this atmospheric and, at times, completely oppressive and not call it doom. Trust that this is not an album you’re going to ever pop on in your car when you and your friends take that summer drive to the beach. (Well, you could. But it would have to be a very sad and depressing beach.) No, this is an album that requires a good set of headphones, a dark room and your complete concentration. That’s really the only way you can fully appreciate the mesmerizing quality of the music Lycus is giving you.
To be perfectly frank it’s hard to believe that this album is a debut. The music held within these three tracks is the stuff of seasoned doom vets, pulling from worlds as varied as drone, death-doom, and even some post-black metal elements. To call this album sorrowful would be an understatement of monumental proportions. Even around the 5-minute mark of the 20-minute title track, when all hell breaks loose and the tempo quickens to a break neck pace the music is still entirely mournful. (This must be the “anger” stage of their collective grief management?) Lycus deliver an album so full of loss, so full of depressive grief, that if you closed your eyes and stared into the darkness long enough you may lose yourself and never make it back…or if you did you’d never be the same.
Tempest is being released through 20 Buck Spin and hits the street on July 9. Visit their Facebook page for links to the first track off the album.