Lykotonon are a Denver side-project composed of members from Blood Incantation, Wayfaerer and Stormkeep to name but a few. The band, who have assumed aliases for the purposes of the project; pseudonyms so unusual that they give Elon Musk‘s son X Æ A-12 a run for his money.
The concept behind the album is explained by the band as “beginning with a reckoning of discomfort and dissonance, a digitized descent into the darker side of the human psyche. It is the probing question that hangs over all of humanity in the quietest of moments.” So far, so dark and in all honesty considering the band members backgrounds in the black and death metal scenes, you would hardly have expected them to start singing love themed, sexualized auto-tuned R&B (which both the late great Chris Cornell did on the risible Scream album and the not so great Ed Sheeran continues to inflict us with on a regular basis).
‘The Apocryphal Self’ starts proceedings in a tasty fashion, you get some chunky heavier than balls mid tempo riffing that effortlessly blends with furious black metal. Whatever genre(s) you wish to ascribe to it you are left with a hell of an opener. Whereas its predecessor was a little more of a straight-forward meat and potatoes affair, ‘Wrested From Solace’ is a far more experimental prospect with nice industrial touches peppered in along the way that rather beautifully compliment the otherwise pulverising progressive blackened death metal. The slower passages actually remind me of Tom G Warrior‘s overlooked Apollyon Sun project, which is definitely no bad thing. ‘Apeiron’ has a sleazy Nine Inch Nails feel that reminds one of that band’s superlative 1999 album The Fragile. It’s an instrumental and a rather excellent one at that and makes for a pleasant and welcome diversion from the brutality.
‘Psychosocratic’ is an eccentric piece with vocals that resemble that of Mike Patton during his more deranged moments, the music also has quite a groove to it, dare I say even a hip-hop inspired beat. It’s the kind of number that you could imagine going down quite well during the late nineties / early-00s in the rock and metal nightclubs (I’m giving my age away here). I am very hesitant to call it nu-metal due to all the negative connotations associated with that genre, but it certainly has that nostalgic value and it is done supremely well. ‘The Primal Principle’ is shimmering electronica and darkwave such as you would expect from Gary Numan on some of his more recent releases, some of the guitar riffing also has that classic Dino Cazares sound about it and I could definitely see this fitting easily onto Demanufacture. Another winner. ‘That Which Stares in Kind’ gives off Godflesh vibes with some early Morbid Angel thrown in for good measure and ‘Seeing Silver in Shadow’ concludes the album on a mystical epic Led Zeppelin note with shades of Ministry‘s ‘Burning Inside’ from the superb The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste album.
To be honest I wasn’t expecting much before commencing my review of Promethean Pathology but I was blown away by how enjoyable it is. A superbly well-crafted album, I haven’t dug an industrial metal release as much as this since the heady days of the aforementioned Fear Factory and Godflesh. If you choose to give this a spin, then to quote Faith No More; you might surprise yourself.
Buy the album here:
9 / 10