This is Extreme Metal that’s rooted in differing elements of Death Metal with a pinch of Black Metal to produce a concept album that deals in the subject of psychoactive substances. The first 6 tracks are regarding their modern use, while the last 4 tracks deal with their traditional usage.
The music is a mix of Progressive and Technical Death Metal with a subtle modern Black Metal influence. If you think of Extreme Metal bands such as Zyklon, Between the Buried and Me, (minus clean singing), and Mithras then you’ll have an idea of the kind of landscape that Lucid/Entheogen inhabits.
On the first half of the album the songs have a delightfully brutal method of attack that sees the Technical Death Metal aspect take the lead, with the Progressive Death Metal aspect coming second. Slower/lighter introspective parts, occasionally bordering on Post-Metal territory, add flavour and depth to the music, although the extremity is never far behind.
On the second half the roles are reversed somewhat, with the Progressive Metal aspects shifting to the fore and the Technical mayhem relegated to a close second place. It’s a subtle shift in many ways, but it is noticeable and results in songs that are longer, more expansive and a bit less brutal, (although this is relative as everything here is still highly aggressive and technical overall).
The vocals alternate between growls and screams. The growls are convincing enough, but it’s the screams that sound particularly good to me.
The recording is a good one and everything sounds solid and in your face. Sometimes the production on one-man projects can sound a bit flat or one dimensional, but this is certainly not the case here.
Although by no means perfect, this is still better than most. Ambitious, forward-thinking and brutally proficient; Lucid/Entheogen is an impressive accomplishment and anyone who has a penchant for interesting and individualistic Extreme Metal should make a beeline for it as a priority.
Really, really enjoyable and extremely highly recommended.
Favourite Track: Towards Infinite Kaleidoscopic Dimensions.