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Mavrodoxa - Lethean Lament

Lethean Lament
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 06 September 2017, 2:29 PM

MAVRADOXA is an Atmospheric Black Metal band that formed in Rochester, New York, USA in 2015. They released their debut “Sojourners” in 2016, and now have followed that up with “Lethean Lament” here in 2017. The new album contains six tracks, and a running length of just over 53 minutes. From the band’s Facebook page, their interests are in “trees and rocks and such.” “Cicadan” seems to emulate the sounds of nature through violin and acoustic guitar. The sounds of the cicada buzzing their wings fades in at the end to cap off the visual. “The Phantom Visages” has that muted Black Metal sound, droning riffs and varied vocals fry. It’s a depressing affair that extends over 11 minutes. The variation in the riffing keeps the long track moving forward smartly, but it still retains a core vision.

“Crimson Waves of Autumnal Flame” is an eighteen minute ode no doubt referencing the sheer beauty of the fall season in Northeastern America. Sometimes the colors are so bright they seem to defy nature. Following an enchanting acoustic intro, the leisurely pace allows the frail beauty to envelop you. Going with clean vocals here in the beginning was a good choice because it compliments the sound nicely. When the harsh vocals come in, the song picks up pace and is menacing as it should be. You don’t notice the length of the track until it ends because there is shifting along the way to keep your interest. “Across the Nival Grove” is another lengthy piece, at over fifteen minutes. Despondent and vulnerable, it’s like desolation creeping into your mind and the solace of loneliness that darkens your heart. I’ve always maintained that there is beauty in sadness and this song is a great example of that.

“From Fog” is a little shorter and more hasty and ruthless from the start. It still retains some of the Atmospheric sound but is more of a straightforward Black Metal sound, with meaty vocal snarls and more guitar presence. It builds towards the end in alternating layers before the sound drops off instrument by instrument until the last drum strike ends. The two minute instrumental “Metanoia” closes the album. The soft acoustic guitar announced the return of hope and all things that grow into the world again, warming you from the inside out. At least this is how I interpret the sound. The great thing about the album as a whole is that personal insight it gives you to illustrate the meaning for yourself. Fierce enough for purists, and diverse enough for those who want to explore some territory off the beaten path, MAVRADOXA’s “Lethean Lament” is an excellent album that I recommend to all fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 6

3 Star Rating

1. Cicadan
2. The Phantom Visages
3. Crimson Waves of Autumnal Flame
4. Across the Nival Grove
5. From Fog
6. Metanoia
Nival – Strings, Voice
Lux – Percussion, Voice
Andy McGirr – Violin (Tracks 1 and 4)
Mark Welden – Guest Vocals (Track 3)
Record Label: Hypnotic Dirge Records


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