The (old) new age of Progressive Brutal Death
WHO: Lykathea Aflame, formerly Appalling Spawn, and later reformed with a new lineup as Lykathé.
WHERE: Prague, the Czech Republic.
WHEN: 2000, after which the band ceased playing together. Plans for a future album were announced under the name of Lykathé, but no release date has been announced.
WHAT it’s all about: Old world themes to get at new age philosophy and mysticism: reincarnation, spirituality, salvation, sympathy… you know, the typical brutal death metal topics.
WHY it’s a classic: Elvenefris almost makes the genre of spiritual/mystical brutal deathgrind worth using as a real term, just for this one album, because it is that prolific. Airy and ethereal, Lykathea Aflame’s only album whimsically flows and bounces through intricate Eastern melodies. At the same time, the album grinds through a whirlwind of technicality more furious than Psycroptic and more pulverizing than Fleshgrind. Imagine combining Cynic with Suffocation, and the ethno-musical base of Nile.
HOW: Lykathea Aflame pairs terrifying subterranean behemoths with flowering savior deities. Elvenefris utilizes keyboards, spoken word passages, string plucking, and Arabian sounding melodies and instruments, to break down the barrier between death and life.
On“To Become Shelter and Salvation,” the listener transverses a vast, empty plane of the infinite, then floats into the sun. “Bringer of Elvenefris Flame” elevates listeners into the clouds with a slow, uplifting keyboard and plucked interlude… which is then paired with surging, spinning, ripping fury. “Flowering Entities” summons images of huge, flowering, planet-sized deities, while “Shine of Consolation” is a jagged escalator to a burning sun.
Through these tracks, vocalist Petr Tomanek bellows through lyrics about salvation with the demonic fury of Lord Worm. Guitars, played by vocalist Petr and Ondra Martinek, both enlighten listeners through soaring, glorious highs… and eradicate with jagged, eviscerating lows. Drummer Tomas Corn channelled a mythical four-armed deity to accomplish this drum marathon, while Andy Maresh’s bass lines bring to mind an image of the gaping maw of a cyclopean pit-monster that dwells in chasms of no return.
This album is not to be missed, and shines in the collection of any death metal fan, whether their favorite band is Atheist or Disgorge… or anywhere in between.