*This is a part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the featured state.*
This month’s state is Vermont!
Combining elements of doom, death, sludge and black metal the Montpelier, Vermont based band Lightcrusher was formed in 2010. You could say that their lyrical themes tend to be more leaning towards the darker side of things with themes like nature, misanthropy, loss, and isolation. The band is comprised of 5 members including members and ex-members of bands like Chalice, Lord Gallows, The Demon Bell, Sunder, Cruciferion, Limbwalker and others. Some of the members were actually in these bands together, so there was already a chemistry and bond created there that you can hear on the bands material. The members include M. Schrift on vocals, A. Sørensen on guitar and vocals, K. Emmons also on guitar, J. Elwert behind the drum kit and L. Gallows on the bass. The quintet released their first material in the form of a demo in September of 2015. Simply titled ‘Lightcrusher Demo’. The recording included five tracks. Fast forward to December 2016 and the band has now released a brand new EP titled ‘Forests of Unresolve’ which includes 5 blistering tracks of death doom and the bands signature duel vocal style.
The bands first initial demo was an amazing start for the band. The heavy fuzzed out guitars immediately grabbed your attention. Of course it’s a demo and the production quality isn’t top notch, but in Lightcrusher’s case it actually fits nicely with the band and intensifies their rawness. The vocals aren’t at the forefront of the track and slightly haunt from the background and allows the instruments to lead the way especially on “Scourge of Sentience”. The bands sound on the demo is reminiscent of Louisiana’s Acid Bath and are only missing the more melodic vocals. The slow sludgy riffs and intense thunderous drumming really transports your ears to the sounds that have escaped from the New Orleans swamps. The namesake track on the demo “Lightcrusher” is an amazing 11 minute track that slugs through in more of a Swallow The Sun type sound. The track puts a spotlight on everything the band has to offer. As you get more and more into the album the lo-fi quality really suits the band and becomes almost an integral part of their sound. The album artwork for ‘Forests Of Unresolve’ which was done by Christian Buck ties in perfectly to the bands theme. Especially the first three tracks on the EP. “Into Forests Of Unresolve Chapter I”, …”II” and …”III”. The opening track “Into Forests Of Unresolve Chapter I”, begins with a minimalist riff and some spoken word but moving on to the next track “Into Forests Of Unresolve Chapter II”, things are almost back to normal. While the bands production on ‘Forests Of Unresolve’ they have also added an ample amount of clean melodic vocals to their style. While this is quite a change from the harsh, dark, decrepit demo it is a change for the good. Though both styles are really good this vocal addition for the band really fits right in even though the bands sound has changed quite substantially. They also show on this track they can play at break neck speeds and propel themselves out of the slow sludgy riffs and develop some songs into more of a blackened thrash before submerging back into the slower melancholy sounds. The latter 2 chapters of “Into Forests Of Unresolve” are like a journey through the wilderness at varying speeds. Lightcrusher know how to change gears both slightly and rapidly. They have a way of being able to adjust to any pace with either of their vocal styles and it comes out sounding perfectly composed. I feel like Lightcrusher’s sound is similar to a revolving door and their overall style changes just as the seasons do. For instance their final track on the album “The Word Is Dead” is more poetry over a obscure riff, but its artistic and hauntingly flawless. Listen to “I Tread In Shadow Of A Raven” and the 12 minute ride will resonate with your soul and instantly make you a fan. Lightcrusher create, what they create can be perceived differently by any listener. Their music is undefined, complex, intelligent and needs to be heard.