Gorazde’s dark and addictive third LP The Fury of Lullabies has a lot of brutish synthetic charm, but personally, I think its poeticisms – both lyrical and instrumental the same – are the biggest reason it deserves a fair share of accolades this August. The verses “Perversion of likeness / In hearts where shadows burn / Comes a pleasure / White stains a-dying” from the powerful “Incubavit” at first glance seem devilish, but upon further inspection adhere to a romanticism that we haven’t seen much of since the first wave goths who developed the best deathrock the punk community ever enjoyed.
The same can be said for the biting verses of “Luminaries” (“A ritualistic posit / Your definitions ascend / “Say the word and I’ll do it / A curse to make amends”) and, oddly enough, the entirely instrumental “Enucleate the Third Eye,” which presents its poetic value through the steam-release bellow of synths and a lurking percussive force in the backdrop too intimidating to be ignored. The Fury of Lullabies isn’t surreal in the same way that a lot of contemporary pop and rock has been in 2021, but it’s nonetheless one of the year’s most cerebral efforts left of the dial.
The strings contribute a lot to almost every song in this tracklist, but they never get the chance to dominate the mix because of how masterfully produced all of the synth parts are. “Last Movement” and “Diadem” have the makings of instant deathrock classics, and as industrial in tone as the latter gets, it doesn’t feel overly electronic at any point in its 3:11 run time. The way The Fury of Lullabies was mixed produces a lot of anxiety in the transition from a track like “Postulant” to “Projections” not so much because of cosmetics, but rather the way the mood seems to get bleaker just when it would seem catharsis is waiting around the next bend.
Distortion never floods out the melodic properties in “Beholden” or “Until the Stars Bleed” entirely, instead adding to the collective strength of the music as it forms before our very ears. The beats always seem bigger than they need to be, and yet the harmonies they surround are always creeping up on the percussion like a bewildered demon in search of vengeance. Between instrumentation and lyrics, this is an LP that sucks us deeper into the void when we’re least expecting it to.
Diehard experimental and deathrock fans shouldn’t miss what Gorazde have created in this powerhouse of a concept piece, and although I would recommend the contents of The Fury of Lullabies to more experienced post-punk audiences than newcomers specifically, there’s nothing about its construction that would make it off-putting to the recently-welcomed goths of Gen Z. The atmospheric elements in the music make this record psychedelic and downright scary in a couple of memorable moments, but at the end of the day, it’s Gorazde’s commentarial approach to the narrative here that will likely launch the trio into indie stardom.
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