Label: Self released
Date: November 5th, 2021
Why do most people consider a mixture of black and doom metal needs to be a whiny and depressive raw black metal? And what’s the difference, might I ask? To me it always sounded pretty much the same. With no other connection to doom metal than the sad lyrics. Sad in any possible manner, as it most often turns out to be.
And also, why can’t you just hear this Australian project and learn a few things? Oh, right, you had no chance to do so, because “Weather the Storm” is the debut album by Lithik. Even if calling it an album might be a bit of an overstatement, since it lasts for twenty seven minutes and has only four “regular” songs. Still, with all that, this record has so much to offer that it would shame all of the above mentioned pseudo-suicidal attempts.
Another important point is that “Weather the Storm” is not a depressive record. At least not when it comes to the lyrical theme. It covers the vast majesty of Australian untouched nature. At the same time, the music that accompanies the lyrics displays all the monumental glory and size of this, the greatest author of them all.
Now, the grandeur of the music is basically formed around doom metal which dominates throughout. It’s like that early version of doom that stems from classical heavy metal. Like Candlemass or Saint Vitus, for instance. Especially in the immensely imaginative guitar work. Then again, when Lithik puts the whole picture together you can easily feel My Dying Bride or the earlier works of Swallow The Sun. This type of blend, of old and not so old approach to the genre is what defines the work of this Australian. Mr. Ray McGill obviously has it all put together in his mind and he has managed to spill it all on “Weather the Storm”, making it a megalith it strives to be.
But, as strongly as I can feel the doom of the record, the occasional black metal insert sounds quite clumsy. As much as the doom metal pieces fit and form treacherous mountain passes with the whole world in sight, the black metal pieces seem to be bland and unimaginative as a factory floor. If I had a say in the matter, I would expel them completely if there was no way to improve them. Just take an ear to the middle section of the title track. It’s almost as if all the layers that make the rest of it stand out are wiped clean.
Thankfully, these parts are very few and far between. Plus, they don’t last too long and fail to ruin the overall feel of the record. The one really lasting black metal influence in Lithik is the voice that reminisce the work of Harakiri For The Sky and, on occasion, Attila’s work in Mayhem. Hoarse and slightly echoing displays a man on the top of the world, summoning the forces of nature to gather and show, once again, who’s the boss on this piece of space rock.
The relatively new found fascination with such atmosphere oriented bands on the scene, I have no doubt, will help Lithik soon find its place among the greats. Considering the quality this record exudes, of course. In no way an original piece of work, as it uses previously heard patterns, but on the creative side of things “Weather the Storm” gives out just enough to satisfy. A good job that promises even better one(s) to come.