metal / music / reviews

Lightning Swords of Death – Baphometric Chaosium

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With one of the awesomest band names around and an album that sounds like an intestinal disorder, Lightning Swords of Death take to the darkest corners of metal with Baphometric Chaosium. This is a blistering, intense release, one that packs more than enough blackness to please genre fans.

Baphometric Chaosium is the third studio record for these Southern California-based titans of terror. The band drew into existence nine years ago, presumably over a cup of goat’s blood and some cupcakes, and came together around the solid but bleak sound of Lightning Swords of Death. 2007 saw the release of their debut, The Golden Plague, and the rest is bloody history.

Now, after touring with the likes of Danzig, High on Fire, Behemoth, Kreator!, and Septic Flesh, Lightning Swords of Death find themselves at the threshold of Baphometric Chaosium with more destruction to wield on an ungodly earth.

Featuring Autarch (vocals), Inverted Chris (guitars), Roskva (guitars), Menno (bass), and M. Vega (drums), this toxic quintet takes to the dominions of black metal, thrash metal, groove metal, and even the outer edges of progressive metal with blades drawn and axes at the ready.

From the opening atmospherics of the title track, it’s clear Lightning Swords of Death mean business. With power chords aplenty and a bead or two of prog, the track eddies into place like a trip to another dimension. Once it thumps to the ground, Inverted Chris and Roskva take hold with pasting riffs and Autarch snarls his way through the wall.

“Chained to Decay” takes the ABCs and builds outward, pulling out of a laborious intro to uncork a solid set of twin riffs. The repetitive, charred guitars seem right out of stoner metal, but the gruelling atmospherics and Autarch’s pained vocals are straight out of the black metal playbook.

“Epicyclarium” is another highlight. This cut finds Autarch probing into more theatrical vocals, traversing awfully close to Gothic rock before bending right back into the black. At about the three-and-a-half minute mark, Lightning Swords of Death shifts gears and pounds into a hefty groove.

Baphometric Chaosium is a genre record, make no mistake about it, and fans of heavy and loud stuff will take to it like a Satanist takes to a pentacle-wearing hottie from the wrong side of the tracks.

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