Album Review: Lykaion – Nothin’ But Death
Posted by Reggie
The Italian metal band Lykaion shares their name with a mountain in the Arcadia region of Greece. It is believed to be where the altar of Zeus is located…for those of you into Greek mythology. Not that it may have anything to do with their music, it is a pretty cool association. Nothin’ But Death is the name of their debut album and it boasts a myriad of tempos and melodies; from the serene, sing-out-loud, to the downright gritty and heavy. The 10-song track-list incorporates a sizable scope of metal subgenres, but doesn’t stray too far from good old-fashioned metal-my comfortable norm. When some other bands try to incorporate various influences into their music it sometimes makes them seem disorganized. Lykaion, however, made it work. The diversity of the album makes it exciting and prevents it from getting boring.
I was surprised by the first song self-titled Nothin’ But Death. The title led me to believe I was going to hear some significant riffage and grunting vocals, but what I heard was catchy, melodic, and with superior clean vocals. The introduction to the song was quite melodic before breaking out into a fist-in-the-air metal song. It’s a super catchy sing-along kind of song. Vocalist Alessandro Sforza does have an impressive signing voice. Though mostly clean, he does get gritty during heavier parts of the songs.
The second song, A Cold Summer Day, is equally melodic, but one that will get a crowd moving. It is a little bit heavier, but the chorus maintains a cache of melodies that keeps the song from straying too far from their core sound. Empty is the longest song at 4:50 and can be summed up as an emotional power ballad, but not like the ones you would hear in 1987. This one is bad-ass, not cheesy. The Dance makes its entrance as a Thrash song and maintains a steady cadence until the chorus which brings the song around to a more melodious feel. If I visualize this music being played live, I can see this being a very fun and energetic show.
Nine of the ten songs are in the 3 to 4-minute range which makes the album just under 40-minutes. Though a bit short, it packs a punch of catchy hooks and rockin’ rhythms and overall it is a very well-balanced album. Lykaion is influenced by Sentenced, Katatonia, and Nevermore. Therefore, it’s no surprise they have a melodic atmosphere while still being hard-hitting. Nothin’ But Death was engineered at Fascination Street Studios, which you may know as a popular spot for bands like Opeth, Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth, and Symphony X. It’s always great to find music out of the blue that has infinite replay value.