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Ov Lustra - Tempestas Award winner

Ov Lustra
Tempestas
by Justin "Witty City' Wittenmeier at 29 July 2019, 4:39 AM

OV LUSTRA is a Blackened Death Metal band that used to be known as SUN SPEAKER.  Due to legal issues, they were forced to change their name.  They chose to use OV LUSTRA as it was also the name of SUN SPEAKER’s first album in 2018. “Tempestas,” is the debut under their new name; it features four new songs and four remastered songs from their SUN SPEAKER days.  In addition, it contains orchestral versions of the first four tracks.  It is a nice package from this ARIZONA based band and quite the enjoyable ride especially for someone like me who never heard their SUN SPEAKER material.

Unlike other symphonic Extreme Metal band such as DIMMU BORGIR and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE, the orchestral movements are not overly invasive and they are actually built into the mix rather well.  As such, their music is bursting at the seams with fervor, energy, and just general badassness but it never sounds cluttered or confusing to the ears.  They remind me more of SEPTICFLESH than anyone because the symphonic are just so well incorporated and there to heighten the songs rather than become them.

The Ritual,” opens as a mix of random noises but quickly builds into a sweep symphonic score, complete with very energetic vocals from bassist Randy Abbott, who as a duel attack of Death growls and Blackened screams.   Musically, the band is Blackened Death but they aren’t afraid to throw in some MDM in the guitar riffs.  Brian Miller is a beast on the drums, a constant barrage that uses everything at his disposal.  As it should be with any great drummer, he is an integral part of their sound.

Tempestas,” is a goddamn barn burner of a track. Actually, it doesn’t just burn the barn—the grass, trees, and anyone unlucky enough to be in the path also gets destroyed.  The riffs, vocal attack, drums…everything about this song is an audio battering ram.  However, it still pulls off incorporating those amazing symphonics and one hell of a guitar solo too. Todd and Allen have a commanding knowledge of when to add melody and solos and when to just focus on riffs.“I” is the most straight forward Death Metal oriented track on the album.  It is a truly unrelenting track that doesn’t hold back any punches—imagine THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER but about forty times heavier and more intense.

The band’s namesake track, “OV LUSTRA,” opens with a rather lush display of their symphonhics before speeding up to freight train levels of intensity.  Out of all the tracks, I think this one represents what the band is all about the most.  Musically, the balance between the metal and non-metal elements is spot on and the dynamics are just right on the nose.  The ambient part that divides the track is a nice touch, especially because after it is over the song kicks even further into high gear.

The orchestral tracks are what you would expect but they are a worth while addition—and it definitely shows how confident they are with writing their compositions.  If you want to show off this band but can’t find anyone into Metal, they would surely be impressed by these four orchestral versions. I came into this promo knowing next to nothing about this band but left blown away.  Very few bands, even the more well known ones, in Extreme Metal can pull off this near perfect balance of Metal and Symphony.  Highly recommended for even the most jaded Metal fan.

Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. The Ritual
2. Tempestas
3. Ov Delicate Rage
4. The Orator
5. I
6. Felle
7. Ov Lustra
8. Arrival
9. The Ritual (Orchestral)
10. Tempestas (Orchestral)
11. Ov Delicate Rage (Orchestral)
12. The Orator (Orchestral)
Lineup:
Brian Miller – Drums
Ryan Todd – Guitars
Tyler Allen – Guitars
Randy Abbott – Vocals, Bass
Record Label: Black Lion Records
     


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