Album Review – Luctus / Užribis (2020)

Are you ready to dive into the cold waters of the Beyond together with one of the meanest Black Metal hordes of the Lithuanian scene?

Formed in the already distant year of 2001 in Kaunas, the second largest city in Lithuania located in the south-central region of the country, by vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Kommander L. as a one-man band, the incendiary Black Metal act that goes by the somber name of Luctus (a Latin words that means lamentation, mourning or grief) has evolved into one of the most important metal institutions of the Lithuanian scene through the years, becoming a mature and stable creature with a trademark sound that has already toured extensively across their homeland and all over Europe. Currently comprised of Kommander L. on vocals and bass, Šatras and Dovydas on the guitars, and Vytautas on drums, this talented “Nihil Black Metal” brigade is back in action after five long years with their long-awaited fourth album Užribis, or “The Beyond”, conceptually continuing the path taken by their 2015 album Ryšys while musically representing a further step in the search for the purity of sound and an emotional impact. Recorded at Lapės Records Studios in Lithuania, mixed and mastered at Necromorbus Studios in Sweden, and featuring a cryptic artwork by José Gabriel Alegría Sabogal (also known as Hathrul), Užribis is a spiritual journey through the obscure depths of the soul, breaking through any boundaries of social life in search of what the band calls the “Other World”. Having said that, are you ready to dive into the cold waters of the Beyond?

Just hit play and the ethereal and cryptic intro Gilyn (or “into the depth” in English) will embrace your damned soul and set the tone for the devastating and hellish Sušiurpintas Ano Pasaulio Nuostabos (“stunned by the awe-inspiring Other World”), with the entire band providing their welcome card through their infernal blast beats, scorching Black Metal riffs and vicious vociferations, not to mention the song’s disturbing, phantasmagorical vibe. And the slashing guitars by Šatras and Dovydas ignite the sulfurous Kas Tu Esi? (“who are you?”), a demonic display of old school Black Metal with Thrash and Death Metal nuances where Kommander L. rabidly barks the song’s lyrics (always in his mother tongue, by the way); then a disturbing beginning will darken the skies in the title-track Užribis (“the beyond”), before Vytautas begins hammering his drums furiously in a dense fusion of Black and Thrash Metal. Furthermore, Kommander L.’s vile roars get deeper and more demented as the music progresses, resulting in a lesson in Blackened Death Metal the likes of Behemoth and flowing like the fires of the underworld until its fulminating finale.

Už Sapno Ribų (“beyond the limits of the dream”) is another pulverizing blast of extreme sounds by Luctus led by the evil riffs and solos by both Šatras and Dovydas, once again living up to the legacy of crushing Blackened Death Metal, whereas the band’s rumbling bass lines and berserk beats dictate the rhythm in Tikėjimo Paslaptis (“the secret of faith”), filling our ears with sheer obscurity and blasphemy in the form of classic Black Metal, sounding and feeling truly reverberating and dense from start to finish. Then we have Liejasi (“merging”), an absolutely sinister tune showcasing cryptic passages, eerie background sounds and strident guitars, exploding into a demented feast of Black and Death Metal titled Vandens Paviršiumi (“skimming over the water”), one of the most detailed songs of the album, bringing to our ears multiple layers of darkness, hatred and fury piled up by the quartet, with Kommander L. taking the lead with his deep guttural roars and suddenly morphing into the cadaverous outro Fascinatio Mortis, as Stygian and grim as it can be, putting a cinematic ending to such detailed album.

The gates to the “Other World” ruled by Luctus are open thanks to the amazing job done by this sulfurous quartet in their new album Užribis, available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify. Hence, don’t forget to show your true support to those Lithuanian metallers by paying them a visit on Facebook and on Instagram, and especially by purchasing Užribis from their own BandCamp page or from the Inferna Profundus Records’ BandCamp page or webstore (in  CD or LP format), as well as from Apple Music or from Discogs. And then, but only then, after putting your hands on Užribis, you’ll be ready to cross the barriers of the Beyond together with one of the most prominent hordes from the Lithuanian scene.

Best moments of the album: Sušiurpintas Ano Pasaulio Nuostabos, Užribis and Vandens Paviršiumi.

Worst moments of the album: None.

Released in 2020 Inferna Profundus Records

Track listing
1. Gilyn 2:07
2. Sušiurpintas Ano Pasaulio Nuostabos 5:09
3. Kas Tu Esi? 7:06
4. Užribis 7:54
5. Už Sapno Ribų 7:40
6. Tikėjimo Paslaptis 6:45
7. Liejasi 2:39
8. Vandens Paviršiumi 7:11
9. Fascinatio Mortis 2:30

Band members
Kommander L. – vocals, bass
Šatras – guitars
Dovydas – guitars
Vytautas – drums