Re-releases have become more common these days, with labels unearthing lost classics and giving independently released EP’s and full lengths proper distribution. In Lucis Absentia’s case, they’ve not only been given a chance to re-release their debut EP ‘To the Depths’ through Static Tension Recordings, but it serves as a perfect opportunity to introduce everyone to their newly rebranded material. Formed as Gomorrah in 2012, the band independently released ‘To the Depths’ in 2014, and probably realized at some point that there have been quite a few past and present groups using this same name. Enter Lucis Absentia, or “Absence of Light” in Latin.
Today we’re excited to have the chance to premiere the title track from the EP. Though this is being re-released by Static Tension Recordings as is with no tweaks to the original recording, you may have missed out on this one when it first came and this seems like a great introduction. Coming right out of the gate with some high energy riffing, Lucis Absentia comes in somewhere between old-school thrash and some hints of slightly more modern thrash/groove metal and melodic death metal. It’s a mix that they use to their advantage, with a pummeling base that hits the listener like a battering ram as the guitarists layer some high flying leads over top of it. These guys do a great job of keeping listeners on their toes throughout the six minute run-time, as they regularly switch up the tempo and the aggressive riffing at the beginning gives way to some slower chugging and shredding solos later on.
While the rest of the band plugs away at their heavy riffing and melodic leads, vocalist Colton Deem delivers a low pitched growl and higher screams that add to the bottom heaviness of the song. Though he sticks at around the same general range for the entire song, the changeovers between the slightly higher screaming and guttural death growls provides some variation and prevents the performance from becoming repetitive. I also have to give a good deal of credit to whoever mixed the material, as even though it hasn’t been changed for this re-release the original production gives the vocals plenty of space and allows them to grab you right by the throat. Deem’s style is certainly familiar, but it’s delivered with such intensity that it’s sure to make an impression.
Some elements of Lucis Absentia’s material are sure to feel familiar to anyone that’s spent a good deal of time with the more modern leaning thrash and melodeath coming out of the U.S., but these guys do it extremely well and have the songwriting chops to sustain longer track lengths. They’re already hard at work on a full length, and considering that at this point the material on ‘To the Depths’ is a few years old this should serve as a great introduction for a band that’s established a strong base while leaving themselves plenty of growing room. Static Tension Recordings will re-release the EP on cassette, digital, and CD June 10th.