It has been two years since I was introduced to the debut self titled album of Lychgate, which brought to the fans of obscure music a different vision of black metal from what we are all used to listen to. In many ways, the band deviates from this genre because the foundation that their work is based upon is sophisticated concepts and musical components that form something beyond labels and simple descriptions. Three years after the highly acclaimed first record appeared, Lychgate announced their sophomore opus that bears the title “An Antidote for the Glass Pill”, which is to be released by Blood Music on August the 18th.
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“An Antidote for the Glass Pill” is the ceremonial, liturgical extension of the band’s doom-laden beginnings. The work’s themes touch upon classical avant garde and dystopian themes, continually wandering into the garden of opulence and genius. The record is also perhaps the only black metal album in history that features full accompaniment by a professional church pipe organist throughout. The band also features Greg Chandler from funeral doom legends Esoteric on vocals and studio engineering duties.
“An Antidote for the Glass Pill’ is a concept album using Bentham’s theoretical prison construction from the 18th century, the Panopticon*, as a metaphor for the negative effect of the post-modern age on society and psychology. Within this dystopian framework inspirations are drawn from Zamyatin ‘We’ and Witkiewicz ‘Insatiability’; both of which describe mass-societal brainwashing. The album title is named after both novels, referring to the glass architecture allegory of the future (the transparent state in ‘We’) and of the consumption of the degenerative ‘Davamesque B2’ pill (in ‘Insatiability’), respectively.