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Lord Almighty – Wither

Lord Almighty
by Santiago Puyol at 11 October 2020, 9:57 AM

Black Metallers LORD ALMIGHTY are releasing their sophomore record "Wither" next October 16th 2020, the follow-up to their 2015’s debut "Paths". Clocking under forty minutes, this quartet takes the listener through a journey of mixing several Metal and Hard Rock sounds.

The album starts right out of the bat with "Cry of the Earth". The soft sound of a thunderstorm feels like a brief fakeout, to surprise the listener as hell breaks loose unannounced. It works excellently. Nasty riffing and a pounding rhythm section carries the track home. There’s a slight Hard Rock influence to Christopher Narainen’s drumming. A fun track with a shifting structure even in a relatively short length, being under four minutes. Samuel "Goose" Willgoose shows off a little bit with a tasteful solo.

Syncopated snare stabs give a little funkiness to "Sundown" paired with a busy bassline by Phill Gelinas. Strong melodic elements on this track that serve as a great counterpoint to the heavier, chaotic sections. It builds nicely towards a nasty climax, almost Post-Metalish in nature. "Mercy" comes next, a short and straightforward banger.

"Rise" slows down the pace and introduces the listener to ballad territory with its beautiful clean guitar intro. Sounds like a lost METALLICA track intro, with just a dash of OPETH. Right over the minute it goes hard and heavy, never fully losing its melodic melodrama. Dynamic and simply fun, a track that keeps moving and keeps on delivering. Abrupt ending gives way to the percussive and aptly titled "V", an under-a-minute interlude.

"Despite" features the catchiest riffing in the record, undoubtedly. Dark and menacing. A pretty straightforward affair that ebbs and flows before it starts speeding like crazy and clashes into an explosive finale. Once again, an abrupt ending (it almost sounds unfinished) gives way to the next track. "Stifled" is another instrumental interlude, this one featuring spoken word samples and a soft, almost Industrial vibe.

LORD ALMIGHTY takes a more traditional Black and Death Metal mix on "Adrift", even letting a Melodeath vibe bleed into the song with a soft, and slightly psychedelic, clean passage. Meanwhile, "Hour By Hour" returns to the 70’s Hard Rock and Black Metal mix, with a powerful, ZEPPELIN-esque feel at times. A grandiose yet always dirty and even anguished song.

The title track and closer "Hooded Three" take a little more time to develop themselves, both around the five minutes in length, something that helps the band to give a little room to breathe to their ideas. "Wither" emphasizes Narainen’s playing behind the drum kit, as he gets to show off not only with his fast playing but also little embellishments he adds to the song with occasional fills. It fades out into a lovely acoustic take on the main riff and heartfelt, Flamenco-tingled acoustic soloing.

Closer "Hooded Three" begins with an almost hopeful sound, like the sun shining after a terrible storm. Darkness doesn’t take long to intrude, as the band takes the listener on an emotional journey. It has a very classic Metal sound through its first half, taking cues from BLACK SABBATH, RAINBOW, JUDAS PRIEST and even the softer side of METALLICA. Around the three-minute mark, it falls down a heavy hole, ruthlessly hitting and pounding.

Overall, "Wither" is an interesting, solid record that takes elements from disparate genres/subgenres and fuse them together in an accessible, even fun, package. LORD ALMIGHTY have found a formula that works as a charm for the, and aside from some production issues (rough transitions between tracks, bass could be a little more audible at points) this sophomore effort is surely successful.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 7
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. Cry of the Earth
2. Sundown
3. Mercy
4. Rise
5. V
6. Despite
7. Stifled
8. Adrift
9. Hour by Hour
10. Wither
11. Hooded Three
Keenan Carroll – Vox/Guitars
Samuel "Goose" Willgoose – Lead Guitars
Phill Gelinas – Bass Guitar
Christopher Narainen – Drums
Record Label: Independent


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Edited 30 October 2020

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