13 Feb 2017

Licrest: "Misery"

Oppressive and heavy in every aspect
For those not initiated in the cult and dogma of American musician Armon Nicholson, his body of work is impressive in size and stylistic span. Of all his projects, including blackened death-thrash project Only A Shadow Remains and many many others, his doomed-out death metal band Licrest is arguably the most well known.

Paired with the guitar-wielder's trademark powerful compositions and top notch sound production, Licrest is an outlet for murderous litanies of doomed death metal, completely drenched in a spirit almost iconic in its quagmire simplicity. Misery, Nicholson's second album under the tattered and torn Licrest flag, is definitely a slow burner, but one that burns all the brighter for it.

On the sophomore album, we sure aren't hurrying anywhere lest we miss the churning rhythms found interred within. The album in itself is constructed in much the same manner as each individual song, with a few intermissions leaving room to lengthier passages, which in a way creates some tension which is later released in glorious bouts of heaviness.

"Licrest instead finds itself belonging to that minuscule quantile that balances both realms..."

Most bands in the genre lean more heavily on one side than the other. Some bands rely mostly on rotten death metal, bending a skeletal knee to the liege of gore, Autopsy, while others set on a dredging, staggering march in search of more gothic melodies and finer, more polished tunes. Licrest instead finds itself belonging to that minuscule quantile that balances both realms in one uncompromising causality where the brutality of death metal and the down-trodden essence of doom metal plays against each other in brilliant balance.

On Misery, Nicholson firmly establishes his rightful place among bigger names as an accomplished songwriter with a flair for multiple genres. Usually you would be keen to think that one who plays on too many horses ends up losing it all, but the guy is really a jack of all trades, made abundantly clear with this toxic behemoth of an album.


Released in 2014 by Music for the Dead


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