(Today we have a guest review by Lonegoat from the Necroclassical project Goatcraft and the host of the podcast Necropolis, and he’s spreading the word about the debut album by the Ukrainian band LAVA.)
Cut from a similar cloth as Panzerfaust, Sacrificial Ritual of Primordial Fire, the debut album from the Ukrainian band LAVA, centers upon its design a powerful exterior. A blend of modern death metal and black metal susceptibilities, namely the worship of intense chord tension, LAVA presents itself as a formidable new project worth paying attention to.
Although this kind of black/death hybrid music generally focuses on its textural components, LAVA allow the chord tension to wane enough so that fierce riffs have room to emerge, at times with flashes of high melodicism. Songs have distinctive flow, permitting bleak themes to materialize and develop in relentless fashion. Venerableness is on display with the addition of angular bass tintinnabulations, which in turn grant the music surprising depth.
All in nihilistic character, Sacrificial Ritual of Primordial Fire lives up to the band’s name of LAVA. It is a reverence for volcanoes wiping clean the crust of the Earth, regardless of our feelings about that. It is music created from a bird’s-eye view of the consternation of human life. We meager humans are no match against Earth’s threatening elements. Instead of being cowards fleeing for shelter, LAVA basks in the possibility of humanity being extinguished by volcanic emissions suffocating our lungs and burning our flesh.
Texturally speaking, the music is composed of diverse elements for an extreme metal band of this type. Female vocals occasionally enter to add a dash of femininity to the brazen masculinity on display. It is a curious juxtaposition. At one point, a guitar solo can even be heard underneath the female vocals.
The musicianship is top-notch. What some would see as a band very similar to other modern bands will observe that what makes LAVA stand on its own is that the songs are thoroughly composed, and the textural components do not make up the sum of the music. It may require a couple of listens for this to become adequately clear. An abundance of thought went into the construction of Sacrificial Ritual of Primordial Fire.
This is a promising debut album. LAVA are a surprise from the Eastern bloc. Hopefully, this is only the first of more to come.