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Lowcaster - Flames Arise

Flames Arise
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 11 November 2019, 5:51 AM

LOWCASTER is a San Francisco metal band combining classic riffs with progressive landscapes. Their first release, 2017’s “The Vapor Sea,” established a solid foundation of dueling guitar wizardry, thrashy breaks, and atmospheric heaviness. Now with their sophomore release "Flames Arise," LOWCASTER continues to branch out incorporating long form songwriting with concepts of metaphysics, identity, and folklore. The album contains seven tracks.

“Prologue” leads off the album. The opening sequence sounds like a fog horn signaling in the night, complete with howling winds and rain, in the night sky. A dark riff joins in, slow and steady at first. It has a monumental or majestic sound to it. “Flames Bemoan the Tide” is close to ten minutes in length. The winds and rain are beginning to die down, and the opening riff is slow with big kick drum beats. The vocalist has a nice voice that seems to fit the music. The song has a hypnotic edge to it, done by repeating sequences over again, and some nifty bass work as well. They drive that riff home at the end of the track.

“Passage” is another short instrumental song. It’s mostly just noise, or a mood-setting track. “Pilian” moves quickly with a simple riff and pounding drums. The harmonized vocals are nice and the main vocalist has a snarly edge to his performance. The sound drops to a slow and lumbering riff just before the half-way mark. It picks back up with a big sound to completion. “Extramuros” opens with some subtle tones of darkness. The opening lines with clean guitar and despondent and a bit hopeless sounding. But when the main riff drops, I am reminded of BLACK SABBATH. They switch up the riff a bit here and there as well.

“Shore up the Ashes” is another ten-minute beast. It’s a slower and more emotional sounding track. There are some really good riffs chocked into this song, and the atmosphere that builds is quite emotional, especially in the vocals. Desolation is what comes to mind “Dust” closes the album, opening with crashing waves and then leading to the main riff. The vocals are just a bit off key here at first, but it’s honest singing and no frills music. I do not hear Progressive landscapes much, but do the amount of Progressive Music I listen to, it could be that I expect more. That’s a fair assertion. It’s a genuine album full of big riffs and drumming, and the vocalist fits perfectly in the band. Overall, it’s a good album.

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


3 Star Rating

1. Prologue
2. Flames Bemoan the Tide
3. Passage
4. Pilian
5. Extramuros
6. Shore up the Ashes
7. Dust
Jason Bridges – Guitar/Vocals
Marc Brandi – Guitar/Vocals
Dean LaVoie – Drums
Dave Silva – Bass
Record Label: Ripple Music


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