As a teaser for both bands’ upcoming albums, Hypnotic Dirge Records did release a split-EP on vinyl with one track from those full lengths. Based on the result, Doom-fans must watch out for the upcoming material!
Side A brings the song The Harbinger by Australian sextet Lycanthia, highly appreciated by the worldwide scene since their Oligarchy-effort. Actually, this song was released a couple of months ago the digital way. Anyway, it brings that specific kind of Gothic-injected Doom-Death from the Old School, inspired by the earliest works of Theatre Of Tragedy or Unholy. Characteristic is the dual vocal equilibrium, in this case consisting of a rather venomous and blackened throat and a somewhat classical-skilled female voice (not of the operatic kind). Remarkable too are the oppressive rhythms structures and ditto riffing, and the subtle use of keyboards and violin. Did I mention My Dying Bride? Well, now I did. Also Draconian or Shape Of Despair might come to mind. There is a specific emotionality without becoming to be pathetic (not that evident within this catchy scene), and the band does distinct itself with some sophisticated elements that are as unforeseen as they are needed to stand out. So, in conclusion, this is truly a great track, asking / craving for more! 9/10
On side B, Atten Ash are featured with City In The Sea. This trio from the American East Coast actually recorded their upcoming album a couple of years ago, but The Hourglass (indeed the title of that full length) wasn’t officially released yet. Until now. Atten Ash’s contribution on this split comes from that album, and it takes its influences from the traditional roots too. But in this band’s case there is no classical or gothic tradition that prevails, yet the whole rather takes hints of the more funeral aspects of Evoken, the melancholy of Anathema, and / or the integrity of Katatonia. 8/10
This split shows the unique yet fabulous open-minded view on Doom-Death Metal, defining the huge diversification that this (sub) genre breaths of. But it goes further, for combining two more-than-acceptable acts that share a same-minded vision: melancholy, tragedy, doom!!!