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LIK - "The Second Wind " (CD)

LIK - "The Second Wind " CD cover image

"The Second Wind " track listing:

1. The Other Realm
2. Death Breeder
3. Ed Ånger
4. The Delusionist
5. Insjunken
6. A Filthy Ride
7. Kallad till Bortgång
8. The Second Wind

Reviewed by on March 29, 2011

"a creepy, nightmarish album owing to a wide range of influences such as punk, NWOBHM, doom, and early goth-punk."

LIK (Lekamen Illusionen Kallet) decided to split after their self-titled 2007 recording. Now, the group returns with another album of raw, rocking black metal, “The Second Wind.” Sticking to the slower side of the genre, sole member Graay has created a creepy, nightmarish album owing to a wide range of influences such as punk, NWOBHM, doom, and early goth-punk.

Album opener “The Other Realm,” will give listeners a good idea if they want to pursue the album further. Graay meshes the ring of twangy guitar notes with the deeper resonance of his bass to form a coiling, shadowy atmosphere. He takes a dual vocal approach on this track, as he does throughout the album, using a gruff, middle ranged tone and a deep, vampiric narration. The vamp voice fits well with the song’s morbid mood and brings to mind Moonspell and Bauhaus. Throughout places in the album, Graay combines the two styles to form a ghoulish choir.

Most of the album consists of only a couple of riffs, which keeps the slumbering paces from resulting in true slumber for the listener. “Death Breeder” picks up the pace considerably from its predecessor, “The Other Realm.” This track thrives on a massive, fist-pumping riff straight from the annals of British heavy metal. The guitar tones on “A Filthy Ride” live up to the song’s moniker and offer more spikes-and-leather old school goodness. “Insjunken” and the title track show the group shift back into first gear, once again opting for melody and a moribund atmosphere over neck-snapping rhythms.

The slow pace and repetitive nature of “The Second Wind” becomes laborious at times. The lack of speed (the album only hits a mid-paced mark) could benefit from the crushing tones laid out by doom metal bands, but Graay uses the thin, cold sound of black metal to get his point across. Even though he paints a somber picture using black metal as his brush, the album lacks the typical black metal facets such as blast beats and speed picking that would make it a more interesting listen.

“The Second Wind” should appeal to fans of rocking black metal such as Khold and Darkthrone, and to those who revel in the fuzzy guitar chords found during black metal’s slower moments such as Mayhem’s “Freezing Moon.” Look elsewhere for speed and keyboards.

Highs: creepy atmosphere, goth vocals, ringing guitar chords, rocking beats

Lows: sluggish pace, repetitive, thin guitar tones

Bottom line: If you're looking for turbo-charged black metal, look elsewhere. Fans of rocking black metal and the slower side of Norwegian black metal should take a listen.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

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)