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Lilyum - Circle of Ashes

Lilyum
Circle of Ashes
by Chris Hawkins at 03 May 2021, 4:48 PM

LILYUM is an Italian band that when they began back in 2002 focused on Groove Metal but later switched over to playing Black Metal.  Over the years, they have released eight full lengths.  These include their latest, “Circle of Ashes”.

Exilia” begins with a compelling enough intro.  Along the way, though the track never really gains any steam.  Rather, it functions to sit in a position of anti-climax.  It is not that the riffs are terrible, but they really just lack qualities to help them stand out and represent the band in a positive light.  At this point of the album, with such a rocky beginning, I cannot help but feel significant trepidation moving forward.

The second track, “Howling Ruins Fall Silent,” is a slight step up from the first track though that is not really saying much.  Again, the music is very repetitive with the guitar and bass often repeating the same parts when the drums change things up.  In the middle, it is clear the band are trying to experiment with an Atmospheric Black Metal sound which, to their credit, sees them step outside of the box a bit.

The production is a major issue with this.  To be perfectly honest, it sounds as if it was recorded on one of those Boss digital four-tracks from two decades ago.  The guitar sounds completely digital, processed, cold, and stale.  Vocally, there is nothing particularly exciting and the programmed drums are not even attempted to be disguised as anything resembling organic.  Simply put, this sounds like a demo recorded on a shoestring budget and while the band is on a small indie label, one would still expect that in the day and age of cheaper and cheaper home recording options, a more professional sounding product should be released.  This is certainly not the worst recording I have ever heard though I would still expect so much more in something being released internationally.

Unfortunately, things do not ever really pick up for “Circle of Ashes”.  Tracks like “Burn the Page” and “Iron Thrones atop Kingdoms of Dust” sputter out before they get going.  While this review may come across as overly harsh, it is because the standard for quality should be significantly higher than this.  Black Metal does not demand crystalline production, but this is another level of poor quality, not just an old school analog aesthetic a la DARKTHRONE.  Avoid at all costs because sitting through these seven tracks was far from an enjoyable experience!

Songwriting: 3
Originality: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 2

1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Exilia
2. Howling Ruins Fall Silent
3. Burn the Page
4. Through Vaults of Wounded Light
5. Titanomachy Revived
6. Iron Thrones atop Kingdoms of Dust
7. Circle of Ashes
Lineup:
Kosmos Reversum – Everything
Lord J. H. Psycho – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Record Label: Vacula Productions
     


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