Extra Dimensional Repetition
It’s been said that black metal devotees are like the hip-hop fans of the metal world. Listening to an argument over “realness” in either genre will demonstrate a remarkable similarity, and any disparaging remarks will be met with hostility in both cases, and arson in the former. So prepare thine ears, as I’m very likely about to provoke one of those debates.
The Extra Dimensional Wound, the latest offering from California’s Lightning Swords of Death, is yet another entry into black metal’s diverse catalog. Certain folks will be immediately turned off by dint of the fact that they does not hail from Norway, the trü-kvlt of black metal. That aside, this is a competent record with all the hallmarks of the genre: raspy, unintelligible vocals, shrieking high end on the guitars, blast beats, and that lo-fi production. The lo-fi in this case has been added after the fact, as one can hear the high quality of the initial recording still shine through.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this album, and therein lies the problem. Because black metal can be so one-dimensional, I find myself holding black metal records to a higher standard. I expect something more, something new and shocking from them, and Lightning Swords remain staid and formulaic here. I may just be spoiled by the recent wave of bands like Shining, who blend their black metal with off-the-wall genres like avant-garde jazz, but even as I found myself headbanging along, I was still hoping to be surprised. Sadly, I was not.
Bottom line: if you’re of the trü-kvlt, you will not be disappointed. The Extra Dimensional Wound is a fine heavy record, and masterfully produced. However, if you’re looking for something new and exciting, you may wish to look elsewhere.