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Lightning Swords of Death - "Baphometic Chaosium" (CD)

Lightning Swords of Death - "Baphometic Chaosium" CD cover image

"Baphometic Chaosium" track listing:

1. Baphometic Chaosium (4:48)
2. Acid Gate (6:24)
3. Psychic Waters (3:57)
4. Cloven Shields (2:16)
5. Chained to Decay (4:51)
6. R'Lyeh Wuurm (4:07)
7. Epicyclarium (7:56)
8. Oaken Chrysalis (4:26)

Reviewed by on February 5, 2013

"If you prefer your live shows to be dubbed 'rituals' and want your musicians to really mean it when they summon forth demons, then the band’s new full-length album will be right up your alley."

Invoking their dark magic from sunny Los Angeles and channeling something a little more on the European side, the newly-minted five piece making up Lightning Swords of Death offers a straight-faced black metal assault on “Baphometic Chaosium.” If you prefer your live shows to be dubbed “rituals” and want your musicians to really mean it when they summon forth demons, then the band’s new full-length album will be right up your alley.

“Baphometic Chaosium” begins with its atmospheric foot forward with the creepy intro to the title track, and works in several other such segments for a darker tone. “Cloven Shields” is a solely atmospheric interlude that breaks up the heavy tracks, and “Chained To Decay” works the ambience into the metal, slowing down the music for a different sound than the surrounding maelstrom. And a maelstrom it is! The blast beats are near non-stop on several tracks, and the dual guitars add a thrashy tone in sections.

Like most black metal, the bass is kept in the far background, although it remains recognizable on the majority of the tracks. The near eight-minute journey of “Epicyclarium” is probably the best representation of the album as a whole, going through all the styles present on the disc and then providing an unexpectedly technical twist halfway through. Even with all those different sounds present, “Baphometic Chaosium” does unfortunately end up monotonous by the time the last track ends. The relentless blasting of “Psychic Waters” is particularly draining, becoming essentially just noise. The muddled harsh vocals don’t help, as there’s no variation there across the album. When a change to the vocal work does appear – in the form of deep and muffled chants/voiceovers – the result is overblown and a bit silly.

Individual songs go balls-to-the-wall and will blast your face off, like the immediately furious “Oaken Chrysalis,” but taken as a whole, the album does suffer from a lot of repetition and lack of innovation. “Baphometic Chaosium” is a release that will offer a lot to people specifically interested in the subject matter, but for those who don’t really care about the aesthetics or the lyrical content, it will be more hit or miss.

Highs: Dual guitar thrash interwoven with black metal.

Lows: Repetitive, not particularly original, and frequently overblown.

Bottom line: Middle of the road black metal with a few interesting twists that will offer more if you dig the occult themes.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 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)