Band: The Lurking Fear
Album: Out Of The Voiceless Grave
Label: Century Media Records
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date: 11th August, 2017
Death Metal is an extremely abrasive form of music. The vocals are harsh and relentless; the instrumentals are intricate and seem to genuinely attack your ear drums and the songs pace is such that it genuinely causes you to apply some serious pressure to your accelerator pedal if you are listening to it in the car. As a result it is obvious that this form of metal music is not for everyone, it is hard to get in to and digest for those who are unfamiliar. For the most part there is a distinct lack of melody that makes the music inaccessible and as a result will cause many part-time metal fans to switch off. However, in the early to mid nineties some clever gentlemen in Gothenburg, Sweden set out to change this and created the sub genre known as Melodic Death Metal (also referred to as Gothenburg Metal) which blended all of the abrasive qualities of traditional Death Metal with melodic guitar parts and the use of choruses and clean singing parts (not all of the bands do this, but a majority) in order to reach a wider demographic whilst still remaining Death Metal.
Named after a famous H.P Lovecraft short story, The Lurking Fear is a project comprised of a group of musicians from the aforementioned Melodic Death metal genre and my word, do they have some pedigree. Vocalist Thomas Lindberg and drummer Adrian Erlandsson from the Swedish metal overlords At The Gates are joined by Jonas Stalhammer of God Macabre and Fredrik Wallenberg of Skitsystem on guitars and Andreas Axelson of Tormented on bass guitar. In short, there is an awful lot of experience and song writing know-how here and the idea of this collaboration should get Metalheads salivating at the prospect.
Once we get the needless string introduction/title track ‘Out Of The Loveless Grave’ out of the way and get into the first actual track ‘Vortex Spawn’ it becomes very clear, very quickly that the boys are not here to fuck around. The track speeds out of the traps with same kind of pace and danger that you would expect from a greyhound with rabies with the pulverising rhythm section laying down a fantastic base for the fast pace six-strings to work from. The one thing that becomes apparent very quickly is that the boys are ageing more like a fine vintage wine and not like milk, this is most apparent with Lindberg who sounds just as visceral and hungry as most vocalists half his age. The guitar solos wail and nod towards Slayer with their thrashy overtones as the lads pull on their guitar’s whammy bars to their breaking point. This track is a clear sign of intent.
Before you get a chance to regroup and catch your breath you are immediately thrown back into the swirling vortex of ferocious riffing and machine gun drum beats with the song ‘The Starving Gods Of Old’. This is old school Death Metal executed to perfection, high paced tremolo guitars pair in perfectly with the mechanically precise rhythm section to provide a truly brutal soundscape that is sure to win over any Death Metal fan with half a brain. Even the addition of a chiming bell in the middle section of the song hits the mark perfectly rather than sounding cliche and lame like it would in most situations (lets be honest, that old trick has been used to death).
Having a collected a head of steam on the early stages of the album the boys blitz through the sometimes awkward middle section of their album with such effortless brilliance that it almost seems like they could have written this album in their sleep. ‘The Infernal Dread’ and ‘With Death Engraved In Their Bones’ Don’t bring anything new to the table, but they are superb Death Metal tracks in their own rights and would fit in perfectly well on any of the classic Death Metal albums from the late eighties/mid nineties. With so many bands attempting to water down the sound of aggressive music nowadays with over-the-top compressing in the studio and a sickeningly clean finish. The Lurking Fear have opted to keep their music as gnarly and visceral as possible which at the end of the day, is exactly what you want from a Death Metal band.
In The latter stages of the album tracks such as ‘Winged Death’ and ‘Tentacles Of Blackened Horror’ (the latter boasting one of the most metal titles I have ever heard of) continue to maintain the high standard that has been set throughout ‘Out Of The Voiceless Grave’ throwing down some grooves that will get the pits spinning and the heads banging relentlessly. The boys have proved here that is not a publicity stunt or vanity project and that they genuinely love creating aggressive heavy music and want to keep the party going for as long as possible in as many different avenues as possible.
As a whole I would say that this album is brimming with fantastic Death Metal songs for the fans of the genre to sink their teeth in to. As for fans of the members’ more melodic day jobs you would be hard pressed to find a lot of melody here but that does not mean there is nothing here for you as the riffs and lead guitar melodies leave enough here to please the ear and ensure that ‘Out Of The Voiceless Grave’ has a little something for every Metalhead.
1. Out Of The Voiceless Grave
2. Vortex Spawn
3. The Starving Gods Of Old
4. The Internal Dread
5. With Death Engraved In Their Bones
6. Upon Black Winds
7. Teeth Of The Dark Plains
8. The Cold Jaws Of Death
9. Tongued With Foul Flames
10. Winged Death
11. Tentacles Of Blackened Horror
12. Beneath Menacing Sands
Total Playing Time: 42:09