The Pitch: Orange County/Los Angeles progressive technical death metal band The Last Of Lucy deliver an album that "draws strength from angular groove metal, technical grindcore, a plethora of smooth saxophone-led jazz moments and ambient electronic elements that give the material a unique identity within the tech-death sphere." FFO: Rivers of Nihil, Fallujah, Entheos
What I Like: The year of tech death continues even as 2017 draws to a close. The Last Of Lucy deliver serious thrils, chills, and kills in the form of highly proficient progressive guitar compositions along with plenty of jazz elements along the way. And yes, the saxophone makes another return. I keep joking that this instrument is going to become as commonplace in metal as a bass guitar, but it seriously looks more and more like this could become a reality. And as is my general preference, its use is very intentional, flowing in and out of the heavier movements like a trickling stream from a raging torrent.
Speaking of which, the peaceful, melodic segments extend well beyond a single defining feature. Interludes like "Hypostatize" prove that each band member is a true musician first and a metalhead second. This track in particular blows me away with its lush, layered, velvety sound. I want to wrap myself up in it like a blanket. Meanwhile, "Obsidian Archetype" serves as a standout on the complete opposite end of the spectrum. It strikes like a Shakespearean actor swinging a sledgehammer; simultaneously soliloquizing and assaulting. The Last Of Lucy are highly poetic in their technicality, but also never above a little violence. This is especially true of the vocals. Brutal.
Critiques: Is it okay for me to just say I don't like the band name? It just...doesn't seem to express what the band is about. Had I not listened to the album, I might have assumed they were some 3rd wave metalcore band or goth music.
The Verdict: Ashvattha is exciting, exemplary, and always unpredictable. It's everything you could ask for in a progressive death metal album, even in a year packed to the gills with strong technical acts. This one has a high chance of flying under the radar this year, so PLEASE be sure to not only check these guys out, but scream their praise in the Twittersphere and from the rooftops. Also, buy the album. As I've said, sales do matter regardless of the actual financial gain.
Flight's Fav's: Obsidian Archetype, Formication, Advertent Avidity
-Review by FlightOfIcarus
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