Posted by Nick Skog on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 Under: English
From: Metal Temple
Published: December 5, 2020
From their Bandcamp page, “On their debut full-length, “Through the False Narrows,” LIMINAL SHROUD takes inspiration from the surging ocean and mist-strewn coast to explore themes of futility, passage, and individual and metaphysical transformation. As the skies turn grey and dense fogs hang above the shoreline, LIMINAL SHROUD will expel a swirl of melancholia and torment over its moss-strewn forests and perilous waves.” The album contains seven tracks.
“A Hollow Visage” leads off the album. It opens with a depressing riff and some muted production, lumbering forward slowly. It picks up into a heavy rhythm, with lead guitar carrying some of the melody. The vocals are raspy screams, and there is an underlying tone of despondence present here. It takes an ambient pause towards the end, with clean guitars and more depressing tones. “Tainted Toil” begins with some guitar dissonance and what sounds like Black Metal BLACK SABBATH. The chord progressions are a bit odd here…but when they finally hit their mark, they are harrowing. The riff changes in the second half of the song to a new sound.
“To Forget…” is an eight-minute beast. It opens with some steady bass and drum work, while the guitars venture out a bit over top. Then come the raspy vocals. Again, the riff changes around the half-way mark, and seems to get lost a bit before coming back on track for the remainder of the song. The ambient ending is beautiful. “The Grotto” begins with fuzzy guitar chords and a bit more of a linear sound. It has a swinging groove to it as well. The chaos is dialed back a notch at first, but it gains steam pretty quickly. They always seem to find a secondary riff around the half-way mark, and this time it’s in the form of an extra guitar layer, doubling down on that sense of depression and utter hopelessness.
“Erupting Light” is a four-minute track, opening with clean guitars and bass notes, along with some cymbal crashes. Suddenly, it transforms with the shift of the riff, to a more monumental sound. “Sentinel” begins with the steady movement of bass and drums with some depressing riffing thrown in. Then, the riff drops back to a more traditional sound before returning to a more earnest energy. There is a plethora of riff changes here, keeping the listener on their toes. “The gateway opens before me, a path to liberation as the sun sets, I lay cold on the ground.” The lyrics aptly sum up the music here.
“Lucidity” closes the album; an eleven-minute opus. Beginning with drums, bass and more fuzzy guitars, it settles for a while with a steady sound, and angry vocals. The ending lyrics are quite poignant..”no longer to be cast aside, I wake from this deep, dark slumber. Break from old, trodden path towards the land of being. No longer will I wallow in this pit of despair. Every second, every hour I will spend in pursuit of meaning.” One doesn’t often look to the Black Metal genre for meaningful lyrics, but they are so reflective of the sound here that it’s hard not to notice.
A darkened depression along with tormenting thoughts pervades the album, but in the end, man triumphs over his issues with just one element: the will to live, and to rise above and conquer his problems by tackling them head on. LIMINAL SHROUD has taken Black Metal to new heights here, proving that it can be both intelligent and thought-provoking. It’s so well crafted, and these musicians have left no stone unturned. You aren’t often left with a sense of hope after hearing an album in this genre, but that is what they have left you with here.
Reviewed by: Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell
In : English
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