Review: “Death, Madness, Horror, Decay” by The Lurking Fear

The albums of so called supergroups are often few and far between and with The Lurking Fear, who take their name from a work of H.P. Lovecraft and feature members of At The Gates, Disfear, God Macabre, Skitsystem, Tormented and The Haunted in their illustrious ranks, it has been four years since their last confession. That came in the form of a debut album titled “Out Of The Voiceless Grave” back in 2017, hailed as an instant classic from Swedish Death Metal veterans who enjoyed an almost instant chemistry and delivered something both eerily familiar and distinctly unsettling. Now in 2021, Tomas Lindberg Redant (vocals), Fredrik Wallenberg (guitars, backing vocals), Jonas Stålhammar (lead guitars, mellotron, organ, backing vocals), Andreas Axelson (bass, backing vocals) and Adrian Erlandsson (drums) return with “Death, Madness, Horror, Decay”…

…While it may not be a concept album in the purist form, “Death, Madness, Horror, Decay” is built on the foundations of lyrics of supernatural horror influenced by not only the works of H.P. Lovecraft but also the heirs to Lovecraft such as American writer Thomas Ligotti. The result of that is something that could be considered the ugly step child of At The Gates, darker and more horrifying, as if Tomas Lindberg Redant has been released from the shackles of his main outfit and has complete freedom to express himself. Whether that is true or not is open for debate but on these cuts his familiar tones are far more straight to the point, building on the pitch black oblivion of the first record as if it was created just yesterday. The pacing and energy of the album is nothing short of incendiary with flaming riffs in classic Death Metal buzzsaw guitar tones harking back to a golden age of the genre with Erlandsson bringing forth the blast beats on demand, a tornado of darkness at searing speed that isn’t needlessly relentless. The first four tracks are over in an instant, crushing classics of macabre detail that are surprisingly reminiscent of the work of Entombed before the twice as long title track swings the axe and delivers something bigger with Doom riff influences to sink your rotten teeth into. “Architects Of Madness” is a real stand out with sinister, menacing overtones and eerie haunting moments that build the mountain of creeping horror with the sense of a warped mind that is just chilling however there is an obsession here with the full on bludgeoning and when “In A Thousand Horrors Crowned” takes hold, it washes away some of the subtleties with a blunt force trauma of pure aggression in the first half. Fortunately things are slowed down with the introduction of some swirling leads that are simply stunning, meaning the track isn’t done in the blink of an eye like the opening salvos, it’s psychological horror that lingers at the edge of human perception something masterfully created. That slow down for a second half is a formula repeated with “Restless Death“, which is when the tempo shifts to give us something of equal intensity but with more oppressive gloom in atmosphere that steps outside of the circle before the colossus that is “Leech Of The Aeons“, a mighty statement piece that finishes the album in slick style with a ripping hellish solo that others would shed blood for. The future is bleak and the call of the void means resistance is futile… [8.5/10]

Track listing

1. Abyssal Slime (02:57)
2. Death Reborn (01:09)
3. Cosmic Macabre (02:33)
4. Funeral Abyss (02:56)
5. Death, Madness, Horror, Decay (04:19)
6. Architects Of Madness (03:56)
7. In A Thousand Horrors Crowned (04:38)
8. Kaleidoscopic Mutations (ft. Chris Reifert of Autopsy) (01:36)
9. Ageless Evil (02:48)
10. One In Flesh (02:24)
11. Restless Death (03:30)
12. Leech Of The Aeons (05:16)

Death, Madness, Horror, Decay” by The Lurking Fear is out 19th November 2021 via Century Media

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