( Instrumental - Post-Rock - Post-Metal )
Lucida Dark have written an album that tips the scales between darkness and light, harmonising these polar opposites through an odyssey of love and death. Music can elevate, and music can transcend. Of Death, Of Love does both!
Subconsciously, we can either decide on an album at a moment’s glance or consciously procrastinate for an eternity before allowing it into our musical realm. I can recall 1993 like it was yesterday, shifting through a myriad of vinyl in Greb Records. Using the two-handed technique of flicking through various rock and metal albums, both index fingers froze when a strange and obscure album cover caught my eye. Picking the album up and turning it over to read the track listing had me further mesmerised. Track names like Lovelorn Rhapsody, Under A Veil Of Black Lace and Sleep In Sanity took complete control of me. What followed was a love affair with Anathema that lasted close on 15years.
Fast forward nearly two decades, and Lucida Dark’s latest release Of Death, Of Love takes me back to that moment, only now it’s 2022, and I’m scrolling through Bandcamp! but the reaction and curiosity hit me the very same way. The artwork on Of Death, Of Love is stunning, and visually striking, depicting something dark, sinister and enigmatic. Track titles such as Taken By Sorrow and We Shall Meet And Part No More weigh heavy with emotion and melancholic suspicion. Simply put, this was an album I had to listen to, and damn, I wasn’t disappointed. Lucida Dark have written an album that tips the scales between darkness and light, harmonising these polar opposites through an odyssey of love and death.
The opening track, Taken By Sorrow’s piano-cloaked opening is caressed by dense atmospherics and sombre drums, gently opening up the music with an ensemble of guitars and a trumpet that would break a stony heart. Heavy guitar swells roll in, crashing heavy against that sombre brass backdrop, building up to a thunderously heavy "post-metal" crescendo, before a synthesised wave brings the track to a close.
On That Dark Immortal Shore is equally atmospheric, with its electronic drum pattern rebounding off soft delicate guitars. The pace is slow and measured allowing every layer time to breathe, before crashing into a Ranges-esque wall of glorious harmony and coherence. Driving tremolo shredding and thunderous rhythm guitars hit the nail square on the head. The dip in pace and potency only excites and toys with the listener, because you know that the track is on its ascension towards a monumentally joyous and immersive high….and with that, rolling drums followed by a gasp of breath and the music elevates to a higher place, high above the earth, then cascades down in a symphony of sound. Musical bliss!
We Shall Meet And Part No More. Well, what can I say here that hasn’t been envisioned in the track’s title. Torrential musical highs flood your ears beneath that brooding melancholic sky, before transitioning into brass-soaked lows, that are so smooth and comforting. More thunderous swells surge forward once more with sweet soaring solos and crushing guitars closing the track.
All that power and well-trained ferocity is put at ease with the intro of There Are Other Worlds Than these. Drawn out chords reverb as the mid paced tempo brings light and hope to this crazy and overwhelming universe of ours. As the music hits that beautiful crescendo awash with soaring solos, you can feel this interstellar mission being swept up in a superterrestrial space storm.
Lucida Darks’ music is like a meteor with a trail of fire spanning the horizon that hits the earth with unmeasurable force. It delivers monumental power, all the while, sculpted around lush, serene melodies and hooks. The title track, Of Death Of Love and They Never Come Back only re-enforce this with their divine structures and celestial energy. The vast Nebraska skies that these guys reside under must be awash with inspiration and creativity!
The Closing track on the album is the beautiful bass heavy Scarcity. I can’t even put into words how amazing the finale is on this track. If this doesn’t lift your spirits and send chills down your spine then music as a medium just isn’t for you! What a way to close a truly great album. Of Death, Of Love had me snared before I even played a single note. There are very few albums that can do that, but Lucida Dark will lure you in with its stunning artwork, its thought-provoking track titles, and finally its euphoric music. Sublime.