From Greece symphonic black metal band Litrosis have their debut album I Am Death released May 1st through Pitch Black Records as part of their Blackest Pitch Series. Recently signed to the label the band makes a strong and striking entry into the series of unique black metal releases that the label is releasing under the banner. The Blackest Pitch Series features an eclectic blend of black metal bands and sounds that bring something different to the genre and there is no doubting the Greek quintet do just that, self described as extreme epic metal the release is a mighty and stirring collection of expansive dark songs that explore and spread beyond their boundaries with skill and impressive results.
Formed in 2010 the band of vocalist Vassilis, guitarist Alex “Ad Ventus”, bassist Stergios, drummer Eli, and Vassilis “Q-Snc” on keyboards and orchestration, from a core black metal vein encompass symphonic and in some ways progressive metal with a wise and wizened touch that creates music which consumes and takes the senses into ventures that are intimidating, challenging, and impressively rewarding. Based in Greece with some members in the UK and US, Litrosis has created an album which is far reaching and deeply intrusive, the perfect blend.
The release opens with the excellent short instrumental Litrosis, its brewing and sinister ambience a rousing battle cry and epic introduction to the sounds ahead. Epic horns, vocal harmonies, and an atmosphere announcing a titanic force ahead, lead straight into Insomniac’s Lullaby. The song ruptures defences with blistering riffs and a scorching melodic guitar before rampaging with full intensity across the senses, trampling them under foot with devastating rhythms and grizzled venom spraying vocals. It is a reasonably expected type of black metal attack but with insurgent and imaginative solo and guitar meanderings which impress deeply.
The diversity and real flair of the band is unveiled from the next track on. Soulcide opens with a beautiful classical guitar caressing of the ear with flowing keys and mesmeric bass to match. The track is majestic and immediately sets the band as imaginative and accomplished. As the intensity rises and darkens the guitars spark to light up the track with sharp and striking play whilst the keys wrap around the ear with a warmth and grace to temper the harsh and destructive power alongside.
As the likes of the aggressive and seemingly vindictive Burn The Sun, the compulsive and crushing Countless Wounds, and the title track leave the senses bloody and gasping for breath from the onslaught the album shows no mercy despite offering up sparkling invention and tempering asides. The band is at its very best though when they let the imaginative craft and ideas have a fuller rein. The brooding opening to Blood Red Desert Plain suggests more of the same of that which came just before it but although still a battering upon the ear it brings a glorious crimson skyline with grand soaring keys to add a full and epic disposition to the track and ear.
The album ends on two gems of songs firstly In The Grave, a mesmeric and captivating slice of progressive/epic rock. Though not convinced by the vocals at times the song still leaves one deeply satisfied by the musicianship and emotive sounds displayed. The closing Bury The Dead is the perfect finale, a track that slowly emerges like a warm and reassuring day, its arms extended and welcoming the emotions in to full and expressive passionate keys. The instrumental is touching and evocative, and further evidence of the talent and promise of Litrosis.
I Am Death is excellent, whether fracturing the senses or taking them on beautiful journeys Litrosis does it so very well. The only complaint that stops the album rising to be a release of the year contender is the production. Personally it felt oppressive to the quality within; it caged the music stopping the full force and majesty to flow with clarity. The fact the album is still so good shows how impressive it really is and one all should make an acquaintance with.