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Doctor Livingstone: Triumphus Haeretici

The cover art captures this band's iconoclastic approach to black metal. It depicts a figure, mostly naked, glaring at the viewer with a look that suggests both smugness and confusion. Though small in stature, the man sits on a throne planted firmly on the world itself. The image reminds me of egotistical figures, the sort who think they've figured it all out and everyone else just needs to catch up. Am I reading too much into this little man? Perhaps. But there's no doubt he's a comic figure, perhaps a representation of the emperor without clothes or a world leader duped by his own ego. Given Doctor Livingstone's attempts to push against the overly serious nature of some black metal bands, this image could be read as a critique of the scene itself.

Musically, Doctor Livingstone blends black metal, hardcore, and (occasionally) ambience. It's a mélange of sounds that should work well together—and typically does. However, the ambient tracks are often either too long or too short, never just right. The other material, frantic and intense, is typically stronger, but it's also weird and off-putting. I understand what the band is doing but their attitude sometimes comes through more than their songwriting. I understand the two are intertwined and that this band's iconoclastic edge is important here, but things don't always come together as they could. Balance is hard to achieve, especially on an album that wants to be multiple things at once. Even if it doesn't quite work, this album is certainly challenging.

Track Listing:
1. Codex Haeretici
2. Lux Delenda Est
3. Dancing with Hoses
4. Give them Tragedies
5. Opus Magnum
7. The Muck of the Land
8. Fuck You with a View
9. Peisithanatos
10. The Grand Finale (fin de l'ordre)
11. I'll Have Some More Apple Pie Please
12. Messiahs and Pariahs
13. A Little Something for You
14. Egregore

Added: May 19th 2017
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Bandcamp Page
Hits: 700
Language: english

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