Boston’s Lesser Glow – featuring former members of Black Elm, Irepress, and The Proselyte – released their debut full-length “Ruined” last Friday via Pelagic Records.
With “Ruined” Lesser Glow rips open a massively wide and confident blend of traditional doom meets melodic metal, paired with hardcore, noise, post-rock, and beyond. Molding all these into one cohesive mix, Lesser Glow stands out as a refreshing and unapologetically brutal take on heavy music.
On first listen, the record does come out as undoubtedly heavy. The title track Ruined begins with a heavily viscous doom riff helped along with a sprinkling of distant chatter. Empty Eyes’ relentless pace and Vacant Thrones cyclic stoner doom rhythm are also a welcome variant in this expose on heavy music.
But aside from their dedication to sounding heavy, Lesser Glow have set out to tone down on gratuity. Noting that the current wave of heavy metal is lost to blind musical intricacy, the band felt that a step beyond riff parades was necessary.
Indeed there is very little than is done gratuitously. Yes, the slow drowning drama of songs like Under the Polar Shade are characterized by intensely brooding passages that play out like a Shakespearean tragedy. There is also a strong dedication to repetitive rhythms. Tension swells up but never saturates the record. The record then peels from its heavy garb into sublime crescendos that are sang to in echoing responsorials. Brilliant and reeling guitars then radiate the stark weathered landscapes. It affects to arrest the senses until one is peeled back into the familiar entropy where the atmosphere is crushing and rolling around with terrible abandon.
Buzz, chatter, skreeches and general cracklings are noise particulates that are used as puppet strings, raising and animating this grim marionette. “Ruined” is at points caricaturing in stark and craving screams accompanied by slow, ritualistic pummeling with grimly buzzing guitars circling around the maelstrom. At other points, in pale but vivid passages it yearns and despairs, a refreshing counterpoint to the weighty groove of its heavier elements.
One of the standout features of this album is how silence is applied. The band stylises some of its pieces with starts and stops, perhaps to effect emphasis. Silence punctuates the middle and at the end closes out like thick curtains on the thespian stage.
While the hardcore vocal stylisation may wear down the listener, we still felt this was a good debut record with sufficient but not overbearing samplings of traditional doom, post rock, noise rock and beyond.
Ruined is streaming full on YouTube: