Bay area dooming death band Larvae let out their second full-length album, Entitled To Death.
Larvae came together in 2011 in Oakland, California, rolling out the doom and death and black metal that they soon became know for. They released a demo in 2012, then their first long-player in 2014, Grave Descent. Since then, there has been an EP (in 2019), but no other recordings, making the new record an occasion fans have been lined up for years on end. The band is Brad Kobylczak (guitar, vocals), Wyatt Culbertson (bass), and Eric Evert (drums).
The album opens on the title track to squawking sounds, like seagulls. I heavy, dread, doom riff rolls in and crushes whatever lay before it. A rugged trill gets folded in, and the deliberating percussion prepares your mind to the growling vocals. A forlorn lead guitar flows in near the third act and finishes the seven-minute track. Excellent. “Obscure Unknown” cranks the tempo up but dabs just as sinister. It is a wicked track filled with poison and spite. “Of Power and Loss” rides in and straining horses, kicking open a gate of suffering. The weight of the vocals here is oppressive – this song takes your breath away.
You don’t always get a song titled as well as “Open Tomb of Nightmares” – the music fits the bill. If you hear this in your dreams you will wake up screaming. “The Last of Living” put me immediately in mind of my favorite flavor of literature – last man novels, where civilization grinds to a halt because of a plague or some other disaster, and the population dwindles to, finally, a solitary person. This song is not necessarily about that … its tone and structure suits and end of life situation, too. I like the last man interpretation, though, and the crushing doom fits it well. The anchor piece is “The Stars Spelled Death.” This piece is spacey, perhaps ethereal. It is a thinker, and a go way to go out on this excellent doom album. Recommended.
Entitled To Death is out on Friday, April 7th from Fucking Kill Records. Hit the links below.
Fucking Kill Records, https://fuckingkillrecords.bandcamp.com/
© Wayne Edwards