As much as metal has expanded philosophically and musically, there’s still more than enough room for chaos, hatred, and putridity. After all, much of metal works to expose the dark side, the thorny reality that is everyday life, and the ways we can slice through all of that via fire and violence.
That brings us to Predatory Light, whose debut, self-titled record pours on the volcanic ash, the smothering anger, and the gory punishment. Granted, they have more going on in their minds than just blunt assaults, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Their doom-infested servings of black metal will leave you with the feeling that you chewed your way through a coal mine, choking on the ash, begging for water, oxygen, or just a merciful end. The six songs that make up their debut record punish and penetrate your senses, dragging you against your will into the mouth of hell. As noted, we’re not dealing with caveman material lyrically and philosophically either. Predatory Light see this music as a vessel, a way to tear back the mind and flesh and to reincarnate oneself in torment. So you’re challenged and pushed in every aspect of this record, and this band is one to fear.
As noted, this is the initial full-length record under Predatory Light’s belt, but it’s certainly not the first thing they’ve ever dragged to the surface. The band released two demos in 2014, just three years after they formed, and then a year later, they contributed to a fiery split effort with Vorde. The members of this band—guitarist/vocalist L.S., guitarist K, bassist D.F., drummer N.M.—bring with them experience elsewhere burning trails with groups as diverse and smothering as Triumvir Foul, Vanum, Ash Borer, Anhedonist, Drought, and many others, and their work here gives the world another powerful, bloodthirsty band to keep black metal deadly.
“Laughing Wound” begins the record, and there’s a bit of gamesmanship at the front end. Noise and keys gel, making it seem like we’re going to ease into this thing, or that a psychedelic bath possibly awaits. Instead, a smothering doom riff drops, brimming in full Sabbath worship, and then the track tears open. Deep, heaving growls arrive, as the song blisters you, and fires start blazing. The pace gets dizzying, almost as if the sparks of lightheadedness are in your field of vision, with wails about tearing away flesh and souls, and the track huffing away. “Lurid Hand” trudges, while the main guitar line snakes all over the place, feeling oddly playful. Dark growls rumble beneath the din, while the song hits hyper drive, with the drums crushing everything, the tempo blinding your eyes, and a mystical finish that lets the song evaporate into mist. “Path of Unbeing” keeps up with the display of metallic hypnosis, with blunt growls punching holes, and the song driving steadily ahead. The song speeds up suddenly, spilling a sea of animosity, with the playing searing, and the guitars cutting their way through. Infernal howls strike the air and induce horror, while the song comes to a smoking, rumbling end.
“Divine Membrance” simmers in harsh sounds and horrific psychosis, as the guitars blow things apart and riffs begin to bend all over the place. Nasty death-style growls surface, with a spooky pace taking hold and the track then launching into speed. The riffs spill down into a doom sprawl, with the cut dissolving into dust. “Sacrum (Feral Devotion)” has a strange, chilling beginning, with clean guitars whirring and then the claws sinking into the earth. Crazed cries and lurched growls mix together, as the menace hits a sense of urgency but then calms into haunted madness. Then, the gas pedal is glued to the floor, and the track burns off violently. Closer “Born of the Wrong Blood” spins your surroundings, almost to the point of nausea, while gurgling growls and tornadic guitars shake that up even further. The song clobbers heavily, as wild shrieks lace the flesh, howls of, “Speak!” bruise you, and the song fades into a hellish oblivion.
Predatory Light’s journey may have just begun, but the woods are on fire behind them, and they are insistent on incinerating everything in front of them. This self-titled debut is a smoking, sinewy, swaggering record that rubs your face in the dirt until you come up gasping. If more black metal sounded as feral and vile as this, that section of the metal world would be in much better shape.
For more on the band, go here: https://predatorylight.bandcamp.com/
To buy the album, go here: http://www.invictusproductions.net/shop/
For more on the label, go here: http://www.invictusproductions.net/