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Cemetery Lights - The Underworld

Cemetery Lights
The Underworld
by Louise Brown at 03 October 2019, 7:04 PM

CEMETERY LIGHTS is a one-man Black Metal act from the state of Rhode Island in the United States. The band made some music between 2011 and 2012 before vanishing until 2018. The lone band member is called The Corpse and has two EPs as well as a full-length album to his credit. "The Underworld," released earlier this year, is that album, which is being reviewed today. It appears to be an exploration of ancient Greek myths about the Underworld and all things related to it.

"Erebos" starts out low-key and down-tempo with a flat, almost basic quality to it. It reminds of me something played by a garage band. I don't mean that as an insult, it's simply the easiest way to convey the song's stripped down tone and nature. It's not a bad track, exactly, it's just very different from what I'm used to hearing in the Black Metal genre these days. "Hades" is melodic and brooding to begin with, which I really like. The tempo changes with an increase in speed as the song continues. The vocals are lower in volume versus the backing music. It makes it difficult to hear the vocals at all in some places. If it was done for effect it didn't enhance the song any. There is a really nice guitar solo within the song, however, which redeems it considerably. Again, not a completely hopeless track, but it does have some issues with regard to volume.

"Elysium" is fast-paced versus the first two track; that includes the vocal performance as well. The song has a great beat along with grungy-sounding guitar and bass backing tracks. While I wish the vocals were just a bit louder I still enjoy the way they sound like a low growl throughout the song. The track also features an extended instrumental interlude which begins mid-track then continues until the song ends about three minutes later. It's similar to what some '70s rock groups would put on their albums several years ago. Good song! "Isles Of The Blessed" has an intro which failed to move me. I find my mind wandering while I listen to it. Once the song's speed increases I'm focused on it again. Unfortunately, it's still failing to make me respond to it very much. There's nothing obviously wrong with the track. It has some good musical elements working in its favor. But the vocals aren't as compelling, and the song's pace fails to sell it for some odd reason. The song falls somewhere between good and bad. I guess you'll have to decide which it is should you decide to listen to it.

"Shores Of Akeron" is a brief bass track. It's actually quite nice to listen to so I would advise that you don't skip it if you decide to listen to the album. "Olympos" begins with a stark guitar solo which is blended with beautifully down-tuned backing music. The pace is sort of slow, which works just fine for this particular track. The tempo changes as the vocals join in. Now I'm frustrated because their lower volume isn't working at all for this song. I resent being forced to attempt to listen to them so closely, too. That volume issue needs to be resolved because it takes away a great deal from the composition itself. Otherwise, the track would be quite good instead of kind of good.

"Tartarus" has a bass-heavy intro The track remains fairly stark with very little variation for the first minute it plays. After that, the pace picks up considerably, with the bass remaining a strong presence throughout the track. It's not the most exciting song on the album, but it's not terrible, either. "Fields Of Asphodel" is down-tempo, bass-heavy and bleak. The vocals are once again just barely audible.As a result, I find myself ignoring them in favor of the backing music instead. The backing music is absolutely great. Punctuated with excellent guitar riffs, its very heavy, creating an atmosphere of doom as the song plays. One of the better songs on the album and a good way to wrap everything up, too.

"The Underworld" isn't the best Black Metal album I've reviewed this year. However, it's still better than some others I've written about. For a one-man act it's still pretty impressive, especially when you consider the arcane subjects that the tracks were written about. That being said, I won't recommend it, but I won't say it's not worth your time, either. This one falls in the middle, which isn't always a bad thing.

Songwriting:  6
Originality: 7
Memorability: 6
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Erebos
2. Hades
3. Elysium
4. Isles of the Blessed
5. Shores of Akheron
6. Olympos
7. Tartaros
8. Fields of Asphodel
Lineup:
The Corpse - Everything
Record Label: Nuclear War Now! Productions
     


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