Starting a band with your friends is definitely a lot harder than it looks; the quest for finding like-minded musicians can prove to be tedious, getting shows and opportunities of the like, and everyone in the band has to be level headed, with the same goal in mind. Whether the goal is to get to point where you can share the stage with your favourite bands, release your first album or getting signed to a prestigious label, each member has to have the same goal in order to work together and increase chemistry.
Lucis Absentia (previously Gamorrah) are one of the bands that have the same goal in mind. How can I tell? The writing chemistry and performance off of their debut record, Gehenna Gate, is incredibly sophisticated and well thought out, to the point where on first listen, I thought they were a band with an incredible history, releasing their 4th or 5th album, rather than this being their debut album with only one previous release under their belts.
Beginning the album with the title track, “Gehenna Gate”, the Ohio based quartet provide an interesting, progressive atmosphere with a blend of eerie, ambient like clean guitars, to fast paced and incredibly intricate riffs. Right from the moment guitarist/vocalist Colton Deem begins belting out his heavy, screeching vocals, you can automatically pin point how he learnt his vocals and who he takes inspiration from; the legendary Chuck Shuldiner. The introduction to their debut album clearly demonstrates each of the band members’ ferocious, relentless talent and ability to write songs in a unique, innovative manner.
After blasting through tracks like “Reflections” and “When Willows Weep”, Lucis Absentia bring themselves to an interesting turn with the wide ranged, progressive track, “The Oculus”. This track showcases the members’ wide variety in songwriting and attention to detail, with multiple solos provided by guitarists Deem and Mitch Pegg, each one insanely different to the one before. The melodic solos influenced heavily by bands like Metallica and Opeth, to phenomenal harmonizing and shredding influenced by bands such as Death and Dark Angel.
Looking at all the songs in a broader sense, they all share a similar potency and tend to get muddled up, especially due to the length of the album. Clocking in at 1 hour and 13 minutes, although Lucis Absentia have portrayed an intricate understanding of songwriting and their technical abilities, after you hit around the 7th or the 8th track, it get’s hard to keep up, and in turn loses its momentum.
After careful research and looking into Gehenna Gate, I was unable to find out who recorded, mixed and mastered it, the production on this debut record has to be acknowledged and appreciated. While the guitar tone is very old-school influenced, it slides in perfectly with the rest of the instrumentals, creating a dynamic and vigorous atmosphere that brings justice to Lucis Absentia’s original, progressive and interesting concept. The drumming as performed by Cody Pegg is wonderfully mixed and offers a captivating, engaging tone, bringing Gehenna Gate into full circle and in turn, providing a compelling attack and drive.
Old School influenced Thrash/Death Metal band Lucis Absentia mix melody, progressiveness and brutality to create a gut wrenching and ferocious debut album, Gehenna Gate. Although their guitarist Pegg has left the band due to the birth of his new daughter (congratulations!) and they’ve decided they won’t play shows in the foreseeable future, it would be great to see this band expand on their unique sound, and progress even further than they already have since Gamorrah. If you’re a fan of progressive music, thrash or Death Metal, definitely check out Lucis Absentia and support them.
Get the album from Bandcamp HERE