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Accomplished and captivating melodic Death/Doom is the hallmark of Vanha's sophomore full-length.
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Lucifer's Fall : Lucifer's Fall/Reclvse (Split single)


Lucifer's Fall and Reclvse provide an all-too-brief reminder of their continued existence...



Yeah, I know - we don't review singles...except when we do. It's a bit of an arbitrary thing, to be honest - if singles are all that bands we're already interested in are currently releasing, then they might get a look-in, otherwise, it's pretty unlikely. And, as it happens, both of the bands on this split 7" are ones we've been following with some interest.

Australians Lucifer's Fall - if I'm brutally honest - didn't get off to the most auspicious start. Despite featuring half of quality (and now-disbanded) act Rote Mare, even the distinctive vocals and some effective guitar and drumwork didn't rescue the self-titled debut from a plodding and somewhat threadbare-sounding DIY aesthetic. Rather like a mediocre Black Sabbath covers band trying to pull off a self-penned 'Tribute To Rainbow Rising' album, their suffering wizards and suchlike ended up rather outstaying their welcome.

All kudos to them, though: they pretty much got off that Realmbuilder-style highway to nowhere immediately, put together a full band line-up and properly announced their presence via the 'Fuck You, We're Lucifer's Fall' EP. Bolstered by the additional instruments - particularly a second guitar - and a beefier production, this brash Cirith Ungol-meets-Reverend Bizarre package of Heavy Metal and Trad Doom really got into a swaggering, infectious stride.

The only snag is that their penchant, by and large, has been towards releasing shorter works, frequently demoing or rehashing older songs, which makes 'Trapped In Satan's Chains' the sole new track from this year (and, likewise, only the punky anthem 'Dirty Shits Dirty Music' emerged new in 2017). So, that's your fix, if you want it - and you probably should, given how catchy a Metal stomp it is. Content-wise, I'm thinking Manilla Road's 'Cage Of Mirrors' (with all the slow bits taken out) twist-in-the-tail irony of 'who knew that the Devil couldn't be trusted?'. And as a seasonal bonus, the crowd-pleasing chorus of "All Hail Satan!" should go down well at Christmas parties.

There's no particularly obvious connection with Welsh band Reclvse, who contribute the (probably - and, no, it isn't obvious from the packaging) double-A-side track 'Restless Ones'. Their resolutely mid-tempo and murky sound hasn't really varied far from a cavernously stoned-sounding Angelwitch since day one. Sometimes a little too subterranean and riff-worshipping to really let the percussion section shine, and very much in the lo-fi production bracket, they're a band whose charm lies in preserving an authentic old-school vibe rather than seeking to push many boundaries. In that, their trump cards are creative guitar lines, and laconic, kind of downbeat-histrionic (yes, I do realise that's an oxymoron), vocals, both of which are on display here in spades.

You don't get lyrics with the release, either physical or digital, but it's clear enough that this is more of a folklore-ish venture into the territory populated by nightmares and ghosts hungering to feed from the living than the in-your-face Satanic verses of their collaborators here. It works just fine as a concept, within Reclvse's somewhat understated swampiness, and - once again - it's basically your only option if you want to hear anything new from the band since their 2016 EP.

In a way, this exactly exemplifies why reviewing singles is a bit of a hiding to nothing. With a single sub-5-minute track from each band on display, it's next to impossible to extrapolate any kind of real context to it. Both bands can, and have done, better - in the sense of having longer and more consistently individual releases in the past - and threaten to do the same in the future. In between, you get releases like this, whose open-sleeve 7" format is...let's say...hardly the epitome of modern packaging. On the plus side, you get a couple of decent tracks and a numbered vinyl rarity, on the minus side, you could pick up a couple of full-length CDs, or a fistful of downloads, for the same financial outlay. I'm a fan of both bands, and wanted to keep up with what they're currently up to, so it didn't bother me greatly to put my money down based on the plusses, but I really can't extrapolate that to any kind of a general recommendation. The opposite, in fact - if you're already a hardcore fan, and completionist, this is for you. If not, there's plenty of other stuff out there that'll give you a far better return for your pound-equivalent local currency.


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Reviewer's rating: 6.5/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. Lucifer's Fall - Trapped In Satan's Chains
2. Reclvse - Restless Ones

Visit the Reclvse bandpage.

Duration : Approx. 10 minutes

Visit the Lucifer's Fall bandpage.

Reviewed on 2019-01-04 by Mike Liassides
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