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Lyken21 - Cyclical Insight

Cyclical Insight
by Quinten Serna at 04 August 2019, 9:17 PM

Heavy Metal is a difficult niche to define as it encompasses near all acts old and new that feature heavier and darker tones than Rock tends to include, yet within these walks are acts even further divided into more exacting niches that define their genre specific and so the term Heavy Metal is both broad and narrowing in a sense. Yet within the convictions of its origins do we find some key elements that are themselves associated with the founding and burgeoning of Heavy Metal as a whole, from the slower and heavier tones of BLACK SABBATH to the organ infused musings of DEEP PURPLE and finally the louder-than-a-freight-train tendencies of MÖTORHEAD do such define some of the earlier conceptualizations from which Heavy Metal stemmed and grew. In a sense these tendencies and inclinations were never lost but have been redirected and redefined as the genre grew to fill in expanding soundscapes and musical planes; however, from the small community of Avenel, New Jersey LYKEN21 emerged into the public eye with their first record debuting in 2007 and “Cyclical Insight” coming into fruition in June of 2019 and whilst delving into the deeper origins of the genre they did set themselves upon those inclinations that started it all.

Cyclical Insight” starts with “Assassin” which straight off the bat introduces the band and their sound, a classical and somewhat nostalgic tone at least partially more in the likes of the late 70s. The vocals are of an interesting construction, hiding behind a few effects they are loud yet subtle, obscure yet define, and guttural yet melodic an odd combination yet one that works perfectly with the music as it was crafted a molded directly for it. The second track on the album is “Shadows” a song that begins much quicker yet almost immediately changes its tempo and progression for the verse, the song plays around with dynamics and has itself an interesting hook resolving on a light harmony that is completely deject and independent from its previous progressions.

Each instrument was recorded with craft and care as none manages to overpower one another or draw attention away from the soundscape as a whole, by specific example the drum toms have a great mix to them both bringing the beats to the foreground distinct from one another, yet neither muddied nor overpowered as heard near the end of “Good Can Be Good.”

Revelation Reality” sets itself apart from the rest of the tracks on the album, not just by being the longest, but also the most dynamic and well constructed starting off with some guitar leads and synthesizer work which is eerie and solemn enough to sound akin to something Mark Snow would have created, a monologue plays out as the synth drives the song and the guitar returns as the vocals soon come in. The song changes once again and presents some interesting harmonies over the synth and rhythm before changing its bearings once again to another synth-laden monologue, and finally ending on this rhythm.

Unique in themselves and coupling modern techniques with old school Heavy Metal, LYKEN21, delivers a powerful album. While not purely old school they incorporate enough of both elements to carve out a niche for themselves and define themselves by their craft.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Assassin
2. Shadows
3. Sanctified
4. Good Can Be Good
5. Revelation Reality
6. Hell’s 4 Children
7. Starlight
8. Doomsday Deception (German)
9. Lost in My Head
10. American Zombie
11. Ebb of Humanity
Andres Nuiver - Bass
Joe Billy III - Drums
Oleg Lipovchenko - Guitars
Marton Miklos - Vocals and Keyboards
Record Label: Independent


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