LO! – Vestigial (Pelagic Records)
I hesitate to put a solid label on Sydney, Australia natives LO!. They’re a band I’ve followed for a couple years and, frankly, they defy definition, which happens to be one of the things I love most about them; you can’t firmly place them in one genre, and in this day and age, that’s a really good thing.
They did a video a couple of years ago for their song “Orca,” in which the band were encased in these post apocalyptic NCB suits while Sam, their singer, emerged from a pool of pink slime. It was creepy, lethargic, and just fucking brutal.
On their latest album Vestigial, it’s more of the same; you can barely make out what Dillon is saying, but you just know it’s epic as hell. His voice is similar to Jonah Hegg from Amon Amarth, without being overly so. Even if that were the case, the band makes up for it with a surreal mix of spacey ethereal and scary creepiness.
I was really happy to hear that they were releasing a new album, because their last one hit like a ton of bricks. They’re not the most well known band in Australia, but they’ve managed to finagle a pretty nice distribution deal with Pelagic, who seem to be treating them pretty well. Aside from Twelve Foot Ninja, there’s not a lot of seriously kickass metal coming out from down under, so the fact that this band has managed to maintain its pseudo-relevance is a really good thing. They have a refreshing, almost tribal sound, while still not clinging to any particular sound.
The song “Glutton” is a prime example of the band’s progressive style while still managing to keep a brutal and listenable aura, while “As Fools Ripen” is an excellent piece of full on speedkill metal. The band never lets you get comfortable, which is really cool. In each track, you can imagine a different scene, and I really like bands where the sonic imagery comes easily.
Some bands, you can get into because they have an amazing brutality going on, and while LO! has that, they have a sort of thematic tinge to them that allows you to go to a different place.
The overall sound is hard hitting with a decent amount of low end. Dillon’s vocals are sort of buried in the mix, but it’s EASILY assumed that they did that on purpose; they didn’t want any one piece hitting you over another. They wanted it to hit you all at once. And on something like this, it adds to the environment, which is super cool.
Listening to these guys is like having your face beaten in by a nice bowl of rice pudding wrapped around a concrete brick, and for that I give Vestigial a 4 out of 5.
Vestigial drops on October 6th, 2017. I highly recommend you pick it up. They even have a vinyl available for pre-order, which I’ll be buying!
FFO: Neurosis, Meshuggah, Mastodon
1. Hall Of Extinct Mammals
2. As Fools Ripen
4. Locust Christ
5. Butcher Birds
7. A Tiger Moths Shadow
8. Judas Steer
9. Bestial Beginnings
10. The Worms Lament
11. Gods Of Ruin
Carl Whitbread – guitar
Adrian Shapiro – bass
Adrian Griffin – drums
Sam Dillon – vocals
Check out LO! here:
Written by Hobbes Caltous for Bloodrock Media on September 18, 2017