The Last of Lucy – Ashvattha (Review)

The Last of LucyThis is the debut album from The Last of Lucy, a progressive/technical death metal band from the US.

This is technical death metal, with flaming riffs and a predilection for chaos. Mixing in grindcore, mathcore, jazz, progressive, electronic, and classical influences, this is a complex and lethal strain of modern death metal.

Yep, this is an eclectic and head-spinning listen. Taking an atypical and non-standard approach to their music, this is a rewarding and extremely satisfying listen, assuming you take to their brutal brand of complexity, that is.

The band are no strangers to atmosphere, with keyboard and electronic enhancements peppering the release in sometimes subtle, sometimes overt ways. Either way, it’s a welcome addition to what would otherwise be a huge mass of impenetrable riffs and jazz metal explosions.

In many ways it’s these calmer, more atmospheric aspects of the band’s songs that really show off the band members’ musical skills. Expansive and involving, they’re the opposite to the blistering extremity and violent chaos that is the rest of the music. At times when the latter reigns, it sounds less like human musicians are in charge, and more like multi-limbed cyborgs are running the show.

The reality is, of course, that both of these aspects of the band’s music are not kept separate. For huge swathes of the songs they share an easy camaraderie, with the rampant aggression taking centre stage, while the other mood-driven parts of the music add depth and substance to things.

The band have bucketfuls of obvious talent for this kind of mayhem. With a skilled singer providing brutal deathgrowls and sharp screams, along with a production that’s thick and meaty, but spacious when it needs to be, The Last of Lucy have made a strong impression on their debut album.

Ashvattha is an accomplished and enjoyable release.

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