Saturday, 23 January 2016

The Lion's Daughter - "Existence is Horror" (Album Review)

By: Josh Lee

Album Type: Full Length
Date Releaed: 08/01/2016
Label: Season of Mist


Everything on this album is written to disgust; from the dissonant chords and violent palm mutes on ‘Dog Shaped Man’, the scraping of guitar strings on ‘Nothing Lies Ahead’ to the vocals so overblown they’re yelling through distortion, while tremolo-picked flurries of guitar and blast-beat drumming make for a very well-formed fusion of black and sludge metal.

“Existence is Horror” CD//DD//LP track listing:
01. Phobetor
02. Mass Green Extinctus
03. Nothing Lies Ahead
04. Dog Shaped Man
05. Four Flies
06. Midnight Glass
07. The Fiction In The Dark
08. A Cursed Black End
09. They're Already Inside
10. The Horror Of Existence

The Lion’s Daughter is:

Rick Giordano: vocals, guitars
Erik Ramsier: drums
Scott Fogelbach: bass

The Review:
Here is an album that truly lives up to its title. Filled with unrelentingly loud and aggressive sludge while drawing influences from the heaviest extremities of metal, under its dense and viscous outer layer “Existence Is” Horror harbours a seething misanthropic heart. Rather than emphasise specific genre-defining tendencies, The Lion’s Daughter pull from a variety of sounds and channel it into a sound that is not overtly any specific style, but maintains an abrasive listen throughout. Originating from St. Louis, Missouri, this  is only the second full-length album from a band whose only intensions are to make truly loathsome music, something they’ve now succeeded in doing a second time.

Everything on this album is written to disgust; from the dissonant chords and violent palm mutes on ‘Dog Shaped Man’, the scraping of guitar strings on ‘Nothing Lies Ahead’ to the vocals so overblown they’re yelling through distortion, while tremolo-picked flurries of guitar and blast-beat drumming make for a very well-formed fusion of black and sludge metal. Even so, The Lion’s Daughter still devote time to melodic moments like the ending of ‘A Cursed Black End’, and the opening section of ‘Four Flies’, though brief, also shows an obvious psychedelic interest. The musical ideas explored here range from everywhere in between the trudging sound of early Mastodon releases and the cold atmospheres of Scandinavian black metal, with plenty of punch behind them thanks to the brilliant production. It’s expected that an album produced by the same man behind the mixing desk on albums from YOB and Wolvhammer would sound monolithically huge.

Not to understate the band’s own attention to detail; there’s a clear amount of polish and meticulousness in the sonic make-up of this album. Smaller touches like the addition of synthesisers and layers of sounds help create a bleak atmosphere mirroring the album cover itself, and show that there’s much more substance here than what’s immediately obvious. “Existence Is Horror” is more than just an entertaining piece of sludge metal, it’s thought out and executed incredibly well. There’s a strong sense of progression throughout all of the songs, and the riffs here are so much more than chugging messes; they’re melodic and skilfully played. The Lion’s Daughter have made an album that is both satisfying on a visceral level and a nuanced level.

“Existence is Horror” is available here







FFO: Coffinworm, Fister, Keeper, Bast

Band info: facebook | bandcamp

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