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Lik: Misanthropic Breed

Edgar Allan Poe’s “Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar” imagines a (mostly) dead body communicating with a small group of spectators through a protruding and vibrating tongue. The sound of that tongue, as Poe describes it, seems to come from somewhere else, somewhere not exactly familiar or easy to grasp. As the witnesses try to make sense of what they are seeing, the corpse falls into a liquid decay, all the while vibrating its tongue in a cry that sounds like “Dead! Dead!”

Poe’s story is a terrifying mediation on death and our morbid curiosity to suspend it through any means possible. I thought of it because “Lik” is the Swedish word for “corpse” but it sounds enough like the English “lick” that all I can think about is Poe’s terrible tongue�"and that decaying living-dead corpse.

Lik isn’t necessarily channeling Edgar Allan Poe, but there’s enough rot and ruin on this album for it to count as something he might appreciate. For those unfamiliar with Lik, the band plays Swedish death metal in ways that pay homage to favorites like Dismember and Entombed while also (occasionally) working in some deft nods to Iron Maiden through some twin guitar harmonies and melodic material. The band really hit their stride with their 2018 album, Carnage, but they hoped to push themselves even more with this one. The result is a set of songs that are darker and less humorous. Although the band drew on various books and movies for inspiration, they also looked back to some of their older songs for inspiration. For example, “Female Fatal to the Flesh,” reworks elements from “The Deranged,” while “The Weird” looks back on “Ghoul” and gives it a darker, more brutal, attack. I don’t want to overstate the point; the band is admittedly looking backwards, but they aren’t merely recycling what they’ve done before. of Instead, they are looking at what they’ve done and playing with it to discover what else they can do with the sound they love so much.

I thought the album was solid from beginning to end. I especially liked “The Weird,” one of the album’s faster tracks and also one of its most brutal. “Decay” was another awesome song that also had a cool nod to Iron Maiden near the end. Of the later tracks, I would definitely recommend “Wolves,” “Faces of Death” and “Morbid Fascination.”

I should also note that this album sounds great. The band worked with producer Lawrence Mackrory (Obey Mastering) and they’ve really put together a great sounding album. I know we’ve all heard that buzzsaw guitar sound before but check out the killer crunch they’ve got on this album. There are also some really clear and crisp guitar tones on the aforementioned “Decay” and on “Misanthropic Breed.” The drums are just as clear (and as brutal) as the guitars. Check out “The Weird” or “Wolves” if you want to hear how the beats really stand out without overwhelming everything else. I would recommend this album as much for its sound quality as I would for its killer tunes. Enjoy!

Track Listing:
1. The Weird
2. Decay
3. Funeral Anthem
4. Corrosive Survival
5. Female Fatal to the Flesh
6. Misanthropic Breed
7. Flesh Frenzy
8. Morbid Fascination
9. Wolves
10. Faces of Death
11. Becoming

Added: October 12th 2020
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Twitter Feed
Hits: 907
Language: english

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