Liminal Shroud from Victoria, BC, made quite a striking impression with their 2018 self-titled demo (which we reviewed here), and are now following that with a debut album that drew the support of the wonderful Canadian label Hypnotic Dirge Records. That album, Through the False Narrows, will be released on November 20th.
The band’s home is a beautiful place, but its setting in the midst of surging oceans and fog-shrouded coasts, often blanketed in the fall and winter by grey and sodden skies, also tends to bring out darker moods. Drawing inspiration from that natural setting, Liminal Shroud have crafted black metal that is capable of becoming as turbulent as ocean whirlpools and crashing waves, but is also palpably atmospheric, providing channels for despair and fury, for the darkness of grief and the fires of defiance.
There are only three people in the band — Aidan Crossley (guitars and vocals), Rich Taylor (bass and vocals), and Drew Davidson (drums) — and they all play vital roles in an album that’s produced in a way which gives them each an even share of attention. Even in the record’s shortest songs, their compositions display remarkable dynamism, and on the two longest tracks, one of which we’re premiering today — “Lucidity” — they use the extended time to push the dynamism of the music’s energy, spirit, and mood to even greater heights.
photo by Rob Hehr Photography
Through the False Narrows is bookended by those two longest tracks, both of which top 11 minutes. The album opens with “A Hollow Visage” and closes with the one you’re about to hear.
The musical journey of “Lucidity” begins with a mercurial melodic riff and a vibrant humming bass, joined by tumbling and pummeling drums. That riff really gets its hooks in your head quickly, but then segues into a more despairing tone above a skipping drum beat, paving the way for the entry of scorching vocal shrieks. The music reaches a boil, the guitars writhing and roiling, screaming and wild, as the drums themselves launch into frenzied fusillades and the bass bubbles like magma. It’s a gloriously feverish sensation that catches up the listener, whirling us upward on something like an audio pillar of fire, and as the lead guitar flickers and darts, the electrifying effect grows even more extravagant.
But, as noted, this is a long song, and so further changes lie ahead. The energy of the rhythm section ebbs and flows, and while the guitars always possess the pulse of unquenchable vitality, the mood of the melody darkens, growing more dissonant and forlorn. At its lowest ebb, the song seems to cry out in grievous hopelessness — and then to soften, the notes ringing and rippling above syncopated beats and thrumming bass moodiness.
But the band set fire to that beguiling interlude in a blaze of frantic and fiery riffing, tumultuous rhythms, and cauterizing shrieks. However, there’s still a sense of bleakness in the music as the rhythms change again (pounding) and the chords slash and swirl, and the feeling at the end is one of utter derangement — perhaps an ultimate paroxysm of futility and loss.
photo by Rob Hehr Photography
Through the False Narrows was recorded by Jordan Koop at The Noise Floor Recording Studio; it was mixed by Aidan Crossley; and it was mastered by Rolando Rolas at Cavern of Echoes Studios. The album features wonderful artwork by Alayna Gretton.
The album is available for pre-order now, and we’ve also included a stream of a previously released song (“Sentinel”), which had its premiere at Invisible Oranges.