Simplicity is often forgotten and underappreciated in the metal scene. From saturated guitar technicalities to heavy-handed production, it very well seems like today’s metal is caught up in the need to maximize riffs and complexity. But there lies the beauty in Doom & post-Metal and its emphasis on atmosphere and emotion, breaking the mainstream metal formula. And with the arrival of Boston five-piece Lesser Glow (including past members of Black Elm and Irepress) and their debut album Ruined (Pelagic), the art has officially been rekindled in the 2018 year of metal.
The first single and title track, ‘Ruined’, has one of the most intriguing song structures on the album. Each drum hit and guitar strum often remain in sync throughout its entirety creating a SUMAC-like machinic and sluggish atmosphere born in despair. And as vocals scream of wasted effort and never being in control, the listener has no choice but to succumb to its pull. The theme in ‘Vacant Throne’ is similar with its disgust for mind-numbing overconsumption and disconnect skillfully shouted over a solid wall of pure noise. The melodic gems throughout this track express a pure realization in one’s lack of self-awareness through cavernous doom-rooted vocals. ‘Empty Eyes’ is the most hardcore track of them all with its continuous fire and drive, causing complete mental pleasure and chaos.
Clocking in at less than 25 minutes, Ruined leaves a lot to be anxious for since the average listener is guaranteed to be surprised that they’ve reached the end of the journey. There’s even potential for confusion in some cases where a song doesn’t seem like it should have ended so soon (such as in ‘Empty Eyes’). More overall progression within song compositions will only prove to benefit Lesser Glow with its lineup made up entirely of seasoned musicians. The excitement of what they might come up with on their sophomore release is nearly unbearable upon first listen.
With the release of Ruined, Lesser Glow has reminded the world that less is more. Staying metal releases have been so few and far in between this year but Lesser Glow’s debut body of work will absolutely remain in hindsight throughout years to come.