On September 22nd the Monumental Rex label will release an album named Axioma, which is the debut recording of the Portuguese band Lacrau, whose lineup includes members of Carma and Everto Signum.
The album is a conceptual work crafted from elements of Depressive, Black, and Doom Metal that grapples with the burdens of aging, and it was inspired by the legendary Scandinavian ritual of senicide. As the band explain: “It is told that the practice consisted in elderly people throwing themselves, or being thrown, from precipices after becoming unable to take care of themselves or perform everyday tasks”.
Written in Portuguese, the lyrical narrative of Axioma describes the ritual from different angles: “the realization of the burden, the journey to the cliff, the induced feelings and the acceptance of the fate.”
In July we premiered the song “DECLINIO“, and on this Bandcamp Friday we follow that with another track premiere from the album. This one is called “QUEDA“.
As we thought when we premiered “DECLINIO“, it may still make sense to describe the course of the album as it leads toward the song we’re premiering now — though of course we won’t hold it against you if you decide to just skip down to the music stream right away.
The album’s opening track “PREMISSA” is an instrumental piece, but it isn’t the kind of brief (and often forgettable) “intro” track that opens many albums. Instead, it’s a five-minute experience that’s vital in setting the scene for the harrowing journey to come.
There, the guitars slowly ring and simultaneously abrade, burrowing into the listener’s head as their refrain repeats, creating a mood that’s dismal and dismayed, confused and fearful. The drums thump like the cadence of a staggering march, and then hammer out an urgent pulse as the guitar writhes and warps. When the drums fall silent, the music sounds like pleading, but the drums won’t be silenced for long — the march is inexorable.
The song “DOENÇA” follows “PREMISSA“. Its lyrics poetically describe the degradation and exhaustion of the body as it is ravaged by time and disease, and becomes a burden to descendants. And then comes “DECLINIO” in which the words describe that burden in harrowing terms as the aged, their memories and mental capacities fading, are carried along a steep path to the ending time and place.
The melody is grim, as you might expect from the song’s subject matter, and the screaming vocals themselves scar the senses with their intensity. The intensity of the song as a whole magnifies, bathing the senses in a dense, roiling whirlpool of anguished sound. Yet the music also includes powerful head-moving hooks, and unexpectedly has the power to mesmerize notwithstanding its depressive mood.
Near the end the emotional turbulence boils over, the drums blasting away, the bass throbbing in a fever, the guitars seeming to wail, a heart that’s broken and beseeching.
And that leads the listener into “QUEDA“.
The strikingly evocative lyrics continue the narration of a devastating journey — a son stumbling as he climbs toward a precipice, carrying his father, a part of himself he is about to rip off in a final farewell, just as “the mountain rips through the long-suffering clouds”.
Once again, the vocals expel the words in wrenching screams, above searing and slashing chords and compelling bass tones. And again, Lacrau add fuel to the music’s intensity, as the piercing guitars swell and burn, channeling feelings of dismay and turmoil in fiery swaths of shrill, distorted sound.
When the intensity ebbs, it’s a prelude to an instrumental segment in which the prominent bass continues seizing attention as the riffing becomes perhaps more reflective, but still agonized, and the vocals utter the words in more dismal but still harsh tones.
The drums continue snapping at the listener’s neck, but the lead guitar seems to warble and cry, driving the song’s tragic melodic currents even deeper under the skin, segmented by further bursts of turbulent intensity.
Once again, Lacrau have created music that’s rough and raw, in keeping with the rawness of the emotions inherent in its concept, but also visceral in its grooves and compelling in its stricken melodies.
Two more tracks follow “QUEDA“, and they will be well worth the wait when the album’s release finally arrives.
For Axioma, the music and lyrics written by Nekruss and Gabriel; the vocals, bass, and adufe were performed by Nekruss; the guitars were performed by Nekruss and session musician Æminus; and the drums were performed by Nikola Dušmanić (session).
Axioma was recorded and produced by Lacrau independently, and mixed by Nekruss. The abstract and symbolic illustrations, hand-drawn by Gabriel of Lacrau, complement the story, while the design and layout tasks were carried out by Infected Minds.
Monumental Rex will release Axioma on CD digipack format, as well as digitally. In addition, it is offering two t-shirt designs and bundles of those with the physical CD edition. Pre-orders can be placed now via the link below, and we’re also including other links through which you can follow the progress toward the album’s release later this month.