Appalling Spawn and Lykathea Aflame

All Spawns – Appalling Spawn

Elvenefris – Lykathea Aflame


Blood Music

Two classic bits of Technical Death Metal were just given a glorious vinyl treatment by the good folks over at Blood Music.  They are a non-profit group dedicated to releasing some of the best metal in extremely limited runs on CD and vinyl.  The two albums up for review are by Appalling Spawn (this being their first time on vinyl) and Lykathea Aflame, the former band essentially being an early incarnation of the latter.  What we have are two similar but very different albums.  The Appalling Spawn material leans towards the more brutal and raw side of Death Metal while Lykathea Aflame takes the technicality, kicks it up a notch, and adds a sprinkle of Prog.

Appalling Spawn – All Spawns, Original releases in 1996 and 1998.

The Appalling Spawn record contains the bands EP Beastial, Mystical & Spiritual (The First Spawn) and their full length album Freedom, Hope and Fury.  Hence the title All Spawns (because it’s fucking everything they released).  I had never heard this album until now, and to be honest, I wasn’t aware of this early version of Lykathea Aflame.  So the day the records arrived in the mail and my lube-soaked fingers peeled away the packaging, I slapped this bad boy right onto the turntable.  The album opens up with what sounds like a demon being awakened from hell only to scrape your face off and pour salt into the exposed meat seconds later when  the crippling riff and blasting drums awaken the inner Metal.  This lovely opener is “Manthra of Hope.”  Because the set consists of the two albums, expect a little drop in recording quality when you get to side C.

From start to finish this is a hell of a listening experience.  Appalling Spawn is extremely heavy — brOOtalz, if you will — while being insanely technical.  Fans of later Death and Gorguts should greatly appreciate what is going on here.  As amazing as the musicianship is, this isn’t an album for someone who isn’t into the aggressive sounding nature of Death Metal, which the album is first and foremost.  But like I said there is a high level of skill present here, as well as signs of what is to come with Lykathea Aflame.  The new release is pretty awesome by Blood Music.  My only complaint would be that there was no color vinyl like with Elvenefris.  But that is me being whiny and gay.

Lykathea Aflame – Elvenefris, Original release in 2000.

With a change of drummers comes a change in band name.  Or whatever.  Elvenefris contains the technical approach of Appalling Spawn but amps it up.  Sucking the listener in with a sweet-ass Middle Eastern sounding melody, “Land Where Sympathy Is Air” takes the listener on a journey across a Death Metal landscape complete with some jazzy melodies lurking in the corners.  The band’s experimentation within the Death Metal tag shows hard in “Bringer of Elvenefris Flame,” as it starts with clean guitars and a pretty melody, before spoken word vocals begin the maddening storm.  “Storm” being some technical fucking Death Metal, of course.

Elvenefris is much smoother around the edges than its predecessor.  It feels like the band knew exactly what they wanted to achieve musically, and achieve it they do.  This is truly a unique listening experience, and unlike Appalling Spawn, I don’t think you have to be used to Death Metal to take something away from this one.  There are so many layers to this record that fans of Metal, Prog and even Jazz could find something to enjoy.  Blood Music put a lot of care into this release as well.  The records are a sexy splatter color of black and blue, packaged in a nice fold-out sleeve.  The gorgeous look of these records will forever reserve a place in my masturbatory spank bank.  All of the splatter editions are now sold out but there are still some black vinyl left.  Grab them while you can!

If you are a fan of metal as well as collecting awesome editions of vinyl and CDs, keep on eye on Blood Music.  They have many awesome releases in the works.  Expect a review in the future of their Maudlin of The Well (the Avant-garde, Jazz, Metal band) box set as I have that sucker pre-ordered already.


3 Responses to “Appalling Spawn and Lykathea Aflame”

  1. I have nothing bad to say about this. It honestly seems awesome what Blood Music is doing. More labels should be this into music, and should support artists this way.

    You’re still pretty gay though, Nick.

  2. What, metal again? Seriously?

  3. […] no secret here that we are big fans of Blood Music  (read reviews for their Lykathea Aflame and maudlin of The Well releases) and what it is they are doing as a small distributor.  Putting […]

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