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Lightning Swords of Death - "The Extra Dimensional Wound" (CD)

Lightning Swords of Death - "The Extra Dimensional Wound" CD cover image

"The Extra Dimensional Wound" track listing:

1. The Extra Dimensional Wound (6:12)
2. Nihilistic Stench (3:32)
3. Invoke the Desolate One (4:15)
4. Zwartgallig (2:03)
5. Damnation Pentastrike (6:28)
6. Venter of the Black Beast (5:53)
7. Vorticating into Scars (3:55)
8. Paths to Chaos (11:49)

Reviewed by on June 18, 2010

"...Lightning Swords of Death creates bleak soundscapes and incessant treble guitar, and predictably the results are also typical of occult-styled black metal."

Like all reasonable black metal bands, Lightning Swords of Death was started with a pact. This particular pact was an agreement between three of the band members that the occult sciences should be applied to music. This would result in, of course, black metal. Typifying this occult style of black metal, Lightning Swords of Death creates bleak soundscapes and incessant treble guitar, and predictably the results are also typical of occult-styled black metal.

The riff schedule of Lightning Swords of Death is very thrash heavy; time signature and tempo changes happen fairly frequently, and the riffs themselves are a constant flow of chords that change their pitch over time. Each song has maybe a half dozen chords that get played in various orders, as do most of the other songs on the album. What makes this work is that each song has a different set of chords and orders, so each is surprisingly different while keeping with the Lightning Swords of Death sound. Most importantly, however, the band breaks up this bleakness with some thrash grooves here and there – parts of “Damnation Pentastrike” and the title track are two good examples – that keep the album out of the drone bin.

Six proper black metal songs are surrounded by a quick interlude, “Zwartgallig,” and a multi-part shot at epic, “Paths to Chaos.” The former is a brief relief from the pummeling, while the latter will be loved by some as an attempt to bring black metal into the post metal world, and hated by others for the exact same reason. In reality it is somewhere in between, with standard black metal passages divided by atmospheric interludes and plays as a set of shorter songs melded together. While the music itself is good, all the different paths sound like more black metal.

The best parts of the album are made by vocalist Autarch and his croak (see the last minute of “Invoke the Desolate One” for a prime example.) Autarch is vital, fresh, and decrepit all at once. But per standard black metal, the rest of the band predictably falls in line. Guitarist (and mediocre producer) Roskva can’t summon more than tremolo and walls of sound except for the atmospheric interludes, drummer Vega is a machine, and bassist Menno might as well not be there, outside of the intro to “Damnation Pentastrike.”

Not surprisingly “The Extra Dimensional Wound” was mixed and mastered in Stockholm. Despite living and working in Los Angeles, the home of sun, surf, glitz and good times, the four band members may as well be living in Sweden (or some other winter-locked wasteland) because their music sounds like other bands that actually do. If a doppelganger is as good as the real thing, then we are all set. If not, then seek out the aforementioned real thing.

Highs: When the band gets into a groove, like on the title track, the music is catchy and bleak at the same time.

Lows: Much of the brutality gets washed out in the flat production.

Bottom line: Decent black metal that sounds exactly like it came from the heart of Scandinavia.

Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls
2.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)