Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Gra - Lycaon


Gra is a Swedish black metal band whose fourth full length, Lycaon showcases the bands blasting ferocity dialed into thrilling new extremes. Signed to the always excellent Avantgarde Music, Gra unleash an assault that is unrepentantly aggressive, hard hitting and willing to grind you down to a nub with sheer volume. Lycaon's attack is addictive and when done right it crafts a black metal atmosphere that you can't help but to fall in love with. There is something about the sound that feels a bit dated, but in some ways that gives the group a serious sense of nostalgia which is definitely to their advantage. 

There is a real magic to the spitfire darkness that they manage to spew on tracks like "Chariots Of Fire". Few of the bands peers are really executing with the same level of alacrity. The crisp production only helps in refining a sound that is wonderfully twisted, a balls out assault that speaks to the enduring and blasphemous magic of this music done at the highest possible level for years on end. There is something oddly reassuring about a record that so eagerly leans into the most aggressive sides of black metal and eschews any sort of artsy sensibilities in favor of something far more bestial, aggressive and skull grinding. 

Lycaon is a masterful offering from a band who have been working on this for an extended period of time, constantly building up their soudn and driving towards this vision. While Lycaon is not a perfect record, it is one that nicely encapsulates so much of the magic of black metal in its modern state. It doesn't worry about being artsy and instead focuses on the more depraved and wonderfully twisted side of the genre, keeping us all in thrall.

Pre-order the album!

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