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Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx


by Matt Hensch

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"Sic Lvceat Lvx" is one of those albums that had a chance to be incredible. I'm no expert on Schammasch, whose style apparently evolved into an avant-garde black metal direction, and would thus be more interesting than this. "Sic Lvceat Lvx" sounds like an album that has neither a head nor feet to keep it balanced. I suppose the best way to describe it is that it sounds like forty minutes of thirty-second snippets of actual songs that we never get to experience. Everything in the album lacks pacing, nuance, any sense of resolve, or even a reasonable foundation to set the base of Schammasch's gospel. The black/death metal model on which Schammasch thrives does the auditory equivalent of sit and stare at a wall.

Schammasch's efforts here come off more as assortments of basic black/death metal bits than multilayered tracks that have depth or imagination. The opening songs are perfect examples of what "Sic Lvceat Lvx" does best, as the direct, mid-tempo riffs that are everywhere puff along without having any sense of meaning or poignancy. Most of these tracks are geared to support this minimal instrumental attack while the vocalist, whose hateful yelps are decent, smears himself over the by-the-numbers approach. The riffs in general sound like connectors to better sequences that never appear. They are too straightforward and basic to elicit a response, and their effectiveness takes a dive after being the focal point for eighty percent of the record. The production has some meat to its bones, although it entombs the occasional decent riff with the simpler parts that have a stranglehold on this.

Schammasch begins to stir once it reaches "INRI" and "The Venom of Gods," as the black metal motifs begin to make an appearance. Blast beats and chaotic riffing happen underneath the plodding, basic riff attack, but it's all just for secondary effect and it's not enough to conquer the dull musical standards. "The Venom of Gods" would have been much better if parts weren't stitched to its rump just to beef up the running time; sequences here could have been cut up and made into other tracks. A few decent riffs and ideas are hidden beneath the excessive baggage, but it's not worth the struggle to dig. It even becomes difficult to judge the quality of the performances, because Schammasch makes no attempt to do anything other than frolic around. An excellent representation of the void in more ways than one.

Schammasch - Sic Lvceat Lvx
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