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Sunday, 10 May 2015

Reviews: Luciferian Light Orchestra, Omicidia, My Refuge

Luciferian Light Orchestra: S/T (Adulruna)

LLO is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist Christofer Johnsson who is the founder member and creative mind behind symphonic metal project Therion. This album is a collection of songs deemed to retro sounding for that bands OTT, symphonic, Gothic and more metallic influences. This retro style is evident from the outset as this album has the same kind of occult retro feel as Purson, Black Widow, Blood Ceremony and indeed Ghost. Johnsson plays most of the instruments on this album with the help of many current and former Therion members all handling different parts of the record. He has also found a some great vocalists who bewitch and beguile with their her haunting female vocals, especially on Church Of Carmel which encourages the listener to "Take off your dress, join us at the sabbath" as well as chant and worship with the male leads. Every song is filled with occult and sexual references see Sex With DemonsVenus In Flames and Black Mass In Paris and is imbued with the honeyed textures of the late 60's and early 70's. Johnsson's musical history is one of overblown epics in Therion with more than their fill of occult lyricism and he adds all of this experience to this record. He really 'gets' the genre, filling this album with spooky organs, clean guitar lines and backing chants see the doomy Moloch. The album draws authenticity from the analogue style production and Gothic styled retro rock, LLO are the sound of Jeff Lynne worshipping Satan with multi-layered songs, that are keen on the ear but filled with blood, guts and sexual deviance (and in the end isn't that all you need?) 8/10

Omicidia: Certain Death (Self Released)

Former White Wizzard drummer Giovanni Durst grew tired of the internal band politics of White Wizzard so struck out on his own to form a heavier style of band. Omicida is that band and he recruited ex-White Wizzard alumni guitarist Will Wallner (also of Will Wallner & Vivian Vain) and vocalist Joseph Michael along with guitarist Roy Levi Ari and bassist Roman Kovallik to the cause. These men set about creating this album that is far away from anything White Wizzard were known for; this is straight up rip your face off Bay Area thrash metal, drawing from Testament, mainly due to Michael's vocals, but also Exodus and even Slayer. With excellent use of light and shade the album kicks off with Cult Of Fear which some melodic guitar lines before Wallner and Ari let loose with riffs galore shredding for their lives as Durst himself blast beats like a madman. From here on in there is very little restbite with only some intros and middles sections slowing things down and letting you breathe. Tracks like Disobey, Star Striped Death and Strike Back all having the snarling, political rallying of the early 80's thrash scene coupled with some great guitar work, punishing drums and perfect vocals. This is the kind of thrash that has scene a revival of late and Omicidia do it better than most, with seven perfectly crafted tracks that all bludgeon you from start to finish. Things look good for this band and with a new vocalist in tow I hope they start destroying the live scene soon! 8/10  

My Refuge: A Matter Of Supremacy (Bakerteam)

My Refuge hail from Italy and as such tap into that countries vein of progressive power metal favoured by genre legends Labyrinth but also drawing in influences from Rage, Evergrey, Crimson Glory and Iced Earth. The band are by no means a happy band they rely on a darker and more melancholic influences than many power metal bands but for the most part the music is heavy, melodic with a hint of progressive. Musically they are still very much power metal vein albeit the more modern vein with dual guitars, thumping rhythm section and sky shattering vocals especially on Living In Anger. The song writing on this album is very good; Calling Of The Wind is a fast thrashy song that is bookended by the mid-paced and paranoid The Cage and the soaring ballad Endless Night. Their influences are worn clearly on their sleeves the Maiden-like This Wall which is one of the best tracks on the album, but if you like modern, power metal with a bit of prog and lot of melody then you would do worse than My Refuge. 7/10

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