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Lucifuge – The One Great Curse

Lucifuge
The One Great Curse
by Gary Hernandez at 08 January 2020, 3:26 PM

LUCIFUGE started as a solo project in 2018 by Equinox in Breman, Germany. To my ears they are a Thrash / Black Metal band. In their words they are a blend of NWOBHM, Punk, and early Thrash Metal and cite Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer as inspiration. The band hearkens back to an older, simpler time and, true to form, they stick to a basic formula of “using an old analog mixer, a few mics and mostly recorded in one or two takes.” This gives their music a visceral, primitive feel that you just can’t escape. On February 2, 2020 (yep, 2/2/2020) they issue their third full-length album, “The One Great Curse.” It is both raw and brilliant.

The first track, “Among Dead Gods,” begins with the sounds of a structure fire with a bell clanging the distance. Whatever the source, the message is clear: carnage is imminent – and at the 56 second mark it arrives. When I heard this track I had to verify they used the same analog standards as their previous releases. Upon inquiry, they responded it was “all recorded in \[their] rehearsal room, in an old Ramsa analog mixer. Only one guitar on each side and then the solo overdubs.” I mention this because although the songs become more and more complex as the album progresses, the production quality remains strong, with each instrument standing clear instead descending into an abyss of grey. Some things really are better without technological enhancements.

Song by song, tracks two through five are a veritable onslaught of riffs and percussive blasts. “Dogs from Hell” treat us to a fiercely aggressive attack while “Predestination for the Labyrinth” marches forward with heavier, slower riffs letting us know that there is a more to Thrash than just speed. Up through track five, I’d say we are dealing with a solid Trash Metal band slightly on the high-end of scale. And then “Sons of Belial” happens. This behemoth of track times out at 6:38 and has more movements than a Wagner opera. The next three tracks continue to deliver at the intensified level . . . or maybe the effect of “Sons of Belial” is so concentrated it just carries the rest of the album like a massive tidal bore.

The final track, “The Final War,” is another mammoth track. Surprisingly, it begins with an acoustic introduction played to the backdrop of growing feedback (reminiscent of the burning carnage played against the bell we heard in the beginning). All this falls to clear, sweeping riffs and Equinox’s raw vocals. I do have to say that the two most distinctive things about this album are the dual guitars doling out distinct but congruous riffs and the vocals that sound like they hurt.

The One Great Curse” is a no frills album. You don’t get synthesizers layering in atmospheric vibes; you don’t get prog compositions with jazz interludes. This is all Thrash all the time. Live, LUCIFUGE expands to a four-piece, adding Xavi on drums, Txusan on guitars, and Aitzol on bass. Whether you get the chance to see them live or have to settle with headphones like the rest of us mortals, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to experience this album.

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

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Among Dead Gods
2. Dogs from Hell
3. Predestination for the Labyrinth
4. God Adorers are Born Sheep
5. Conjuration of Destruction
6. Sons of Belial
7. Chambers of Lust
8. Clouds of Death
9. Diabolically Divine
10. The Final War
Lineup:
Equinox – All instruments
Record Label: Independent
     


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