Here is an eerie and haunted album, that isn’t always great but has some really good moments and most importantly, really succeeds in creating a dark, horror-themed mood.
The Lurking Fear is an interesting project: a Lovecraft-themed death metal band created by members of At the Gates, Tormented and Cradle of Filth. Together, they make old-school death metal that reminds me of early Entombed. That early death metal eerie and dark tone really does bring Lovecraft’s stories about old monster and incomprehensible fear to… dark and macabre life.
Most of the album is a nice balance between fast, heavy, mean and gloomy. The best example of that is the first track, “Abyssal Slime” which starts with strange, vaguely threatening riffs before turning into fast-paced death metal. Some other tracks are faster and shorter, running relentlessly and proving that The Lurking Fear can really thrash. Just listen to the 1 minute-long thrash monster called “Death Reborn”.
I use the word “thrash” a lot, because this album also has a nice thrash metal influence, with its wild solos, ferocious speed and screamed vocals that would be more at home in a hardcore band, or maybe a late 80s death metal band than a more recent one. You can hear that on “Death Reborn” and on the super-fast and heavy “In a Thousand Horrors Crowned”. But it’s still definitely death metal, with a nice heaviness and groove to it, as you can hear on “Funeral Abyss” or the catchy main riff of “One in Flesh”. Among the death metal heaviness, you can also hear a few slower and eerier riffs, like on “Abyssal Slime”, “Funeral Abyss”, “Architect of Madness” and the title track. This one has all the good things about this album: a dark and eerie atmosphere, heaviness and speed. Unlike a few other tracks that go by too fast, this one takes its time to create an atmosphere and try different sounds.
As for what I didn’t like about the album: the first time I listened to it, I thought most of the songs sounded too similar. Also, like I said, a lot of songs fly by too fast, meaning I can barely remember what they sound like or find anything to say about them. I also didn’t care much for the shrill vocals that don’t really fit the music. The vocals work better in “Kaleidoscopic Mutations”, where Tomas Lindberg uses a lower-pitched growl.
However, it’s definitely an album that gets better with a second listen. While it can be a little repetitive, it has a really nice concept and many good musical ideas. But it’s mostly about creating a particular mood, an eerie Lovecraftian atmosphere and that it does very well. That’s why it’s an album that needs to be heard.
Release date: November 19th, 2021
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