Review: Black Lodge “Covet” [Head Not Found]

Review: Black Lodge “Covet” [Head Not Found]

- in Reviews

Artistically, the success of several early doom/death metal bands laid in their ability to experiment outside of the norm. Female vocals, unusual instruments and inspiration from non-metal sources (mainly that of gothic rock and neoclassical) managed to shape the most interesting albums of its heyday. Commercially, this would lead to an obvious dead end; this is probably one of the reasons why so many bands would soften up not too long after they had deliver their harsher record(s) or in yet another case like this, choose to split up not soon after.

Describing Black Lodge isn’t much of a challenging task, yet I can guarantee that they’re a weird band. At first sight, the band appears to be a doom/death metal band that conjure dramatic tales through a typical doom/death metal filter, with ‘Dissonance’ owing a few things to the early work of My Dying Bride; think more along the lines of Turn Loose the Swans than As the Flower Withers. Slow waves of airier guitar passages fill the dreadful void; only to become strengthened by the superior vocal duet and by the time you reach that explosive finale of emotional tension, it becomes clear that Covet is a record that’s full of emotional intensity (note: positive emotions excluded). ‘Dissonance’ may not be the most original offering of the band, but it makes a high quality opening, and I have no problem admitting that the vocal duet remains one of the strongest ones that I’ve come across in this genre. Harsh vocals are done by two men; one sounding fairly common with a gruff register, whereas the other one sounds dramatic and overpowering; as if he’s had a few drinks too many and spits out his frustration against the world. Yet, the most surprising and appealing vocals come down to those of Monika Pedersen. Sure, they can sound pretty when compared to the harsh growls that they alternate with, but once Monika Pedersen hits an occasional eerie low note or speaks in a jaded tone, she sounds rather frightening. It’s a clever move that plenty of female vocalists in this style could have learned from.

The remaining doom/death metal numbers see Black Lodge approaching things from a different angle now and then. ‘Cube’ spends its first half creating more misery through heavy power chords hammering with splendid effects, but instead of leaning towards vivid memories of tragedy of long time gone, the band summons oppressive atmospheres of industrial wastelands through thick grooves and cerebral guitar riffs. ‘Travesty’ kicks off with guitars grinding towards oblivion and just when you get used to its slow-paced manner, Black Lodge surprise the listener with their flexibility. From the brief passage of chaotic blastbeats, to the noisy post-punk-inspired guitar sections, it’s a track that’s structurally progressive, yet cohesive as a whole to make just enough sense. Creating vivid images of personal struggle, ‘Tower Inertia’ sounds like a journey of woe and spite, where hymns of mourning collide with harsh bellows that roar over forsaken leads, while towering guitar riffs resemble a sense of impending doom. It’s another superb song, but I’ll admit that I could have done with a shorter acoustic break in between (even if it makes that follow-up riff hit harder in comparison).

There’s only one bizarre exception to the rule where things go seriously wrong. Doing the unexpected, Black Lodge suddenly turn into the hardcore direction with ‘Mother urge’ and unsurprisingly, it’s a bad move. Loud, yet superficial, the track leaves me cold with their otherwise emotionally-rich compositions and as biased as I may be, I can think of plenty of better things a doom/death metal band should play once they abandon their original style (self-pity rock it isn’t, by the way). Then again, I told you that this is a weird band, so don’t be too shocked by it and pay attention to the remaining songs once you’ll give Black Lodge a shot; doing so is certainly worth it.

Score: 83/100 – Vortex of negativity

If you really would like to support Antichrist, you can just Share our article.
You can also support Antichrist by sending a couple bucks to cover some webhosting expenses.
=>> PayPal


About the author

I have been listening to metal since the age of... 14 or so. Besides music, I'm also interested in boxing, fitness, meeting new people and enjoy reading about a variety of topics.