A couple of days ago I was talking to an Italian musician who is a friend of mine. I was asking him about his opinion on Italian Metal and whether he could lead me towards some new bands. What a cool coincidence to be presented with Lykaion's 'Nothin' But Death', a debut album straight from Italy, courtesy of Bakerteam Records.
Italian Metallers Lykaion cite Sentenced, Poisonblack, Katatonia and Nevermore as their main inspirational sources, and it shows! 'Nothin' But Death' has emphasis on melody, a melancholic vibe and vocal lines filled with hooks. This along with the general rock n' roll vibe of the record makes you think you are actually listening to Sentenced, especially when vocalist Alessandro Sforza sings his first "yeah-yeah"'s at the beginning of the first track. I couldn't help but think about the song 'Noose' from Sentenced's 1996 album 'Down' (I used to listen to this particular record quite a bit).
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However, as soon as the second track, 'A Cold Summer Day', kicks in you get to hear a heavier side of Lykaion. More pounding drum patterns and sections with more riffing will be popping up in certain places throughout the record, giving more edge to the songs and making the Nevermore reference more evident.
I would dare to say that some bits have an In Flames Swedish flavour injected in them, thanks to the harmonizing twin guitar in sections such as the intro for the song 'Passion Kills'. To spice things a bit we also have some clean guitar and acoustic passages thrown into the mix, which give contrast and help to increase the atmosphere of the songs.
Lycaion's music is a mixture of elements and influences that work very good together thanks to the clear production, good song writing and performances full of talent and passion. Some critics will turn the band down, saying they are trying too hard to sound like their influences.
I agree that the voice (an essential factor in terms of identification) sounds too much like Sentenced, but the intrinsic qualities of 'Nothing But Death' work very well as a starting point for a promising band that could evolve in very interesting ways.
Don't miss it if you are a fan of the bands they cite as influences. I definitively want to check their next offering and see the band in a live situation.
Visit Lycaion at lykaion.it