24 Jan 2022 - Jonas
Post-Rock / Progressive / Post-Metal | Release date: 21 Jan 2022
By now, the Nebraska-based post-rock outfit, Lucida Dark, has become a household name of the genre. What’s that? You’ve never heard of them? Well, buckle up kiddo, because you’re in for a ride! They just released their debut album, “Of Death, Of Love”, and it’s of the highest order.
I’ve been a fan of the post-rock movement since 2006, even though I’ve realized in retrospect that I listened to some bands of the genre prior to this without knowing it. It all started with the track “Karelia”, by MONO from Japan. I was sold. I didn’t know it was possible to make music this cathartic, atmospheric, and evocative. I quickly went through their discography, craving more just like it, so I dove deep into the genre and loved pretty much everything I listened to, what with the novelty of it all. It took me a few years, given how diverse this genre, or movement, actually is, but eventually, I realized I liked some styles more than others, namely the atmospheric, cathartic, and evocative kind. I went full circle. I still appreciate plenty of the other styles, but at the core of it all, this is the style I love. Combine this with my predilection for heavy music and we’ve got ourselves a deal.
Back in 2009, If These Trees Could Talk released an album with a perfect symmetry of post-rock and post-metal, which is called “Above the Earth, Below the Sky”. A high-wire balancing act that managed to be both genres at the same time, without tipping over into either side. Few bands have managed to pull this off with such surgical precision and even fewer have managed to pull it off this well. Enter Lucida Dark, from Omaha, NE.
On account of being “acquainted” with some of the members on Facebook, I knew they had an album coming. I didn’t have any particular plans on listening to it on release day, but the absolutely stunning cover art intrigued me enough to just go through with it. Do you know how you sometimes can tell that an album is going to be good by just hearing the first couple of seconds of it? That was definitely the case here. The first track, ‘Taken By Sorrow’, starts off with this ambient dark drone, with an incredibly thick atmosphere, which is further accompanied by a somber piano. Again, the sound is so vast I can only imagine it was recorded in the Son Doong cave of Vietnam. It’s ridiculous and I love it, especially when the guitars and drums kick in, with a tone so crisp it could chisel monuments out of the said cave. With that being said, it’s not all melodic. This thing shreds as well, with chainsaw-like, almost progressive, riffs to cut through the dark atmosphere. While the overarching theme of the album is the incredibly ephemeral aspect of life itself, it’s not all doom and gloom. The fourth track, “There Are Other Worlds Than These” has this hopeful and uplifting tone, like being carried into some sort of afterlife.
With great precision, Lucida Dark has managed to tip-toe a very fine line between post-rock and post-metal with utmost perfection, bringing us the best of both worlds, navigating us through a larger-than-life atmosphere with instruments that somehow manages to shred and create at the same time. This is exactly what I love, and I can’t wait for the next chapter. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to witness these tracks live in concert at some point as well.