After six years we have new music from doom band Lurk, their fourth album, Aegis.
Lurk formed in Finland in 2008, and I have been a fan since their first record came out, the self-titled dark beauty, in 2012. Every two years like clockwork a new album would appear, through their third, Fringe. The recording hiatus that ensued thereafter created anticipation and longing which, I am glad to report, has been rewarded by their latest effort, Aegis. The band is Arttu Pulkkinen (guitar), Eetu Nurmi (bass), Kalle Nurmi (drums, guitar, synth), and Kimmo Koskinen (vocals, guitar).
There are seven songs on the new album. “Ashlands” sounds like the gates of hell swinging open. Clanking and grinding, pile driving and growling – the dark energy is palpable. The tempo is steady and working for most of the song, taking a lower path just passed midway, sinking even further into misery. Pulverizing excellence. “Shepherd’s Ravine” has a quieter beginning, making it all the more ominous because we know something else is coming. The bass line and sporadic percussion are deeply unsettling. On “Infidel,” a feeling of accelerating decay on an ancient structure overwhelms my brain like a sentient wraith, trancing my thoughts in the direction it chooses. This song is the one that will stay with me longest. “Hauta” has some similarities in ideation, but its sound is very different in that it is more active and scales measurably higher. This song also has a pleading quality of desperation heard more here than in the previous tracks.
I will say that “Blood Surge” has identifiable death metal nuances in the landscape of doom, and “Kehto” is a ballad played by tortured souls in hell on the raw bone and sinew of the damned. So, while doom is ever-present, gothic and death metal and other influences survive, coalesce, and intertwine with it throughout the set. The final piece is “The Blooming,” and it opens with a black metal trill. Tinted with ichor drawn from undefinable depths, the rapacious savagery of this composition is a final reminder of all that has come before. Recommended.
Aegis is out in a wide variety of forms through Transcending Obscurity Records on Friday, April 7th. You can order it through the links below, and there you can also peruse the stunning array of merch available to complement the recording.
Transcending Obscurity Records, https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
© Wayne Edwards