Lvcifyre is a band I already have a fair amount of experience with; from the cavernous rumble of 2011’s The Calling Depths to 2014’s hellacious Svn Eater. Unfortunately, I was just 15 summers into my stay on earth when the first one dropped, and my ears and brain hadn’t yet developed a taste for Lvcifyre’s brand of uncompromising death metal. Three years went by, and thanks to then recent exposure to bands like Aosoth and Grave Miasma, Svn Eater went down like an Aperol Spritz after 5 hours of skiing down an Austrian hillside.
Five(!) years later and we have another set of charcoal- and gut-smeared tracks from the somber ensemble. Sacrament is an EP of four new originals in addition to a cover of a track by the speedy thrash-precursors in KAT. The whole ruckus is over and done within about 22 minutes, which is just enough time to start craving the saturation and closure of a full-length project. Hopefully we won’t have to starve for another five years for that to come about.
“The Great Curse” lurks into view with 90 seconds of animal noises and an atmosphere as thick as tar. It feels like being haunted by the charred remains of Sleipnir in a tucked-away part of hell, until suddenly the infernal racket of three English lads comes creeping across the audio field. The band promptly swings into gear; drums blasting away, guitars engaging in dissonant conversation like a fog-choked Immolation. The production is pretty much caked in atmosphere and malevolent character, filled to the brim with vocal outbursts and reverbed guitars screaming in the distance. The whole concoction is about as evil as a locomotive run by feeding the furnace endangered birds-of-paradise. A supporter on bandcamp summed it up neatly when he proclaimed Sacrament sounds like “listening to the color black”. I see no reason to dissent.
Thankfully it’s not an “all bark, no bite”-scenario. Lvcifyre’s songwriting chops have developed substantially across every release to date, and that evolution doesn’t slow down with Sacrament.The title track features a wellspring of engaging material wrapped up neatly in a six-minute packet of fire and brimstone. “Shadowy Wing” is a short but sweet attack on the senses and sanity of the listener, frenetic drum work and a darkly theatrical vocal performance erupting like fireworks in the deepest pits of hell. The beginning of “Deaths Head in Crown” calls forth images of bassist Cvltvs reluctantly summoning some unknown entity, before getting absolutely obliterated by the uncontrollable power he has willed into existence. Sporting plenty of violent blasting and an immense landfall of a riff, it sounds like being swallowed by a house fire
The four original tracks make for a pretty strong statement, never doing disservice to the unique brand of atmospheric carnage peddled by the band. A cover of a (although killer) pretty straightforward speed/ thrash number might not be exactly what you are hoping for after five years of impatiently waiting, but it’s a pretty engaging finish thanks to the band’s unhinged, fiery energy. Lvcifyre has silently become one of the most distinct forces of evil in the underground metal scene, continually proving to be willing to expand on an already successful formula. I sincerely hope we have some more Lvcifyre coming our way in the near future, but if not, Lvcifyre has already left a burning, fuming hole in the annals of modern metal. Do not sleep on this bedlam.