by Ray Henry (mouthforwar.net)
Lightning Swords of Death’s 2010 sophomore release, The Extra Dimensional Void was a blasting, furious black metal affair that left little to the imagination. Three years later, and the band is set to unleash their latest slab of cold blasphemy, but with a much different approach. Sure, Baphometic Chaosium is still black metal, but it’s also a good deal more ritualistic,atmospheric and, at times, strange. The end effect is one that confuses and may, perhaps, even polarize the album’s audience.
Where the band’s last full-length was pretty straight forward, this helping of eight tracks is anything but. It may channel the sounds of old, but LSOD have twisted and morphed them into something meant to solely serve the band’s own interests. Black, dark, cold and blasphemous, each song (even the instrumental “Cloven Shields”) carries and more than delivers it’s own weight in malevolent evil.
The title track sets us off on our malignant journey with an opening few moments of atmospheric noise before rolling bass and building riffs arrive soon enough with distant screams. I love the bass work throughout this opening song. Once the raspy vocals come to the forefront, the riffage picks up and the drums let loose with rabid blasts. There’s a solid bit of deviant melody weaving slowly in and out of the track.
Once the tone is set, LSOD are free to explore your cranial cavity and they most certainly do that with wreckless abandon. “Acid Gate” is a vicious song with more than enough vile intent to keep even Satan on the edge of his seat. The track combines morbidly spoken vocals along with raspy growls to deliver the band’s message. It’s also one of the more aggressive songs available on Baphometic Chaosium stretching itself out like some great bat for over seven minutes of desolation.
“Psychic Waters” contains some seriously dizzying riffs and drums that just will not relent their beating upon your skull. The guitars remind me of something that perhaps Blut Aus Nord would fill the air with — buzzing, sickening, perfect. The song can get a bit tedious upon repeated listenings though. “Chained to Decay” carries a bit of doom with it’s blackened atmosphere before the band jumps back into the blasting fray with “R’Lyeh Wuurm.” Then we come to “Epicuyclarium,” a song that’s more experimental than any other on the album with distant and deep spoken vocals, sound clips, guttural growls, weaving riffs and a steady-as-she-goes rhythm that hits the accelerator here and there to keep things interesting.
The infectious groove of “Oken Chrysalis” wraps the album up nicely with a mid-tempo pace. It sort of reminds me of Now, Diabolical era Satyricon. Each track on LSOD’s Baphometic Chaosium is vicious in it’s own right with plenty of blasting and evil, but after a few listens the album does become a little repetitious. I still dig the hell out of it though.