Let me start with a foreword. This year has been exceptional because I have been honored to follow the development of a massive manifestation of evolvement and progress in what many old-fashioned folks claim that is “dead” for a long time. Black metal has reached another level of supremacy that is far beyond the surface and it transformed in what could serve as a source of invaluable knowledge and inspiration for people willing to lose the shackles of ignorace and expand their mindset. Allow me to take you on a journey behind “reality’s” curtains where post-modern society is nothing more than a pure experiment.
The rise of what is to become an omnipresent entity; of genious and consuming madness.
Lychgate is an obscure entity from the UK, which has been conceived in 2011 and I’ve been invited to subject their sophomore album “An Atidote for the Glass Pill” to an analysis; a release of renowned record label Blood Music. I have got to admit that this was quite a challenge for me that I faced with arms spread open wide for this creation is far from anything that I listen on an everyday basis. With their new album, Lychgate marked a turning point not only in their musical career but also as becoming a vital element in pushing further the state of underground black metal. If I say that this is one of the most avant-garde records written ever, I will be wrong because it is more than that. It is genial, complex and moreover, it can freak the hell out of you. If you think you know what madness and evil sound, you are about to get struck and change your perspective. It may take some time, though..
“An Antidote for the Glass Pill” is not an easy to digest album. It breaks away from the traditional black metal formula that many artists still feed their vision on. That’s why it feels so experimental, from time to time chaotic and probably not making sense. However, you need to believe me that every single bit of this album has its own purpose and contributes for the overall evil omnipresence matching the unlikely-to-meet concept that reflects genially constructed and mind shattering compositions. First, Lychgate is one of the rare bands that includes a professional organist whose presence is evident throughout the whole album and basically evokes that deeply disturbing atmosphere that will redefine your your perception of madness and fear. Secondly, “An Antidote for the Glass Pill” features a unique concept theme that refers to things more evil than Satan (sorry guys) and taken from what I believe to be happening in present days of our lives – a silent war for subduing society through mind control.
Concept-wise, Lychgate introduced in their new album a theme based on Bentham’s theoretical prison construction dating back to the 18th century. One specific term found in it is “Panapticon”, which is an institution where its inmates are unable to tell whether or not they are observed. As Betham described himself Panapticon is “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.” Further inspiration has been drawn from Zamyatin’ novel “We” as well as Witkiewicz’s “Insatiability”, both sharing an understanding of a dystopian framework that serves as a brainwashing machine. The title of the album is named after both of the 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.
Merging the ovewhelming concept and the masterful instrumentalism of Lychgate, “An Antidote for the Glass Pill” is genuinely a masterpiece in every level of its highly compound structure. Just take a listen to the uncommon arrangements that will strike you not every minute but every second! It’s impossible to predict what’s next until you experience every bit over and over again. Its profound storytelling and consuming compositions will get you behind the “Panapticonian” gates, and you will face a world shrouded in mysteries that are better to stay unsolved.
Contrary to the theme, “An Antidote for the Glass Pill” is an eye-opener, in my humble opinion. It not only makes you reflect on the current state of reality but also expands your knowledge in extreme metal to lengths that are still obscure to many fans. There’s nothing better than tasting the ultimate flavor of an excellent blend of knowledge and art. Last but definitely not the least, connoisseur of high quality artwork, packaging and sound will get obssessed with it and agree with me that this album is not only one of the highlights of 2015 but also in history of black metal.
1. Unto My Tempest
2. Davamesque B2
3. I Am Contempt
4. A Principle on Seclusion
5. Letter XIX
6. Deus te Videt
7. The Illness Named Imagination
8. An Acousmatic Guardian
9. My Fate to Burn Forever
10. The Pinnacle Known to Sisyphus
Total running time: 49:49