Stinking Lizaveta

Sacrifice and Bliss

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Starting an album with a song title like "Autochthony! Autochthony!" is a statement of purpose in and of itself -- but given that the word refers to a state of originating in the place where found, it's appropriate for the work of Stinking Lizaveta in general. The trio members' ear for putting in whatever they feel works into their music means that while Sacrifice and Bliss isn't quite sui generis, it's definitely all Stinking Lizaveta, the work of a band with a lot of time and joint experience under its belt, queasily time-changing and riffing and above all else creating memorable, immediately atmospheric compositions almost song for song. When they do play it straight, at least on their terms, they do so well -- "When I Love You" may be their version of a power ballad but Yanni Papadopoulos' guitar captures all the heartfelt sweetness one could want while still throwing in heavy tremolo. "Superluxation," meantime, could well be one of the best songs around that could be called both funky and metallic without once invoking whatever specter the term "funk-metal" normally calls to mind. Their ear for titling remains key as well -- the '80s power metal riff into elegant breakdowns on "A Day Without a Murder" perfectly suits the idea of violence avoided, while the end-of-the-night mood of "The Man Needs Your Pain," slow and elegant, makes for a strong, beautifully melancholic conclusion for the whole release. And what else would best suit a band like Stinking Lizaveta than having a monolithic stomp settle into a flashy, rampaging charge entitled "Zeitgeist the Movie"?

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