Lightning Swords of Death

The Extra Dimensional Wound

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The second album by California-based blackened death metal band Lightning Swords of Death lives up to the group's awesome name. They're definitely not a Mayhem tribute act; the most stereotypically black metal element of their music is the treble-heavy guitar sound. The riffs on display owe a lot to old-school thrash, and vocalist Autarch delivers the lyrics in a guttural, death metal style, as drummer Mike Vega pounds out avalanche-like rhythms, heavy on the double bass. The group fits (un)comfortably next to somewhat "post-black metal" acts like Tombs and Black Anvil, groups that see a future in synthesizing the best aspects of multiple metal subgenres into one roaring assault. There are lots of great moments on The Extra Dimensional Wound, mostly coming from the drummer, but Autarch's extended croaking roar at the end of "Invoke the Desolate One" will linger in a listener's mind for a while. And though the group focuses on head-down blasting, even to the point of omitting guitar solos, there are some melancholy touches here and there, like the two-minute atmospheric guitar interlude "Zwartgallig." The album's final track, the nearly 12-minute "Paths to Chaos," is very impressive, switching back and forth between punishing black/death metal and creepy hissing-and-rumbling interludes that recall the Eraserhead soundtrack.

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