|Oakland's Lycus is often labeled as funeral doom, but the band's vision goes far beyond the barriers of just one genre. Although Lycus is a slow, measured doom band at heart, the band's sound stems from of a wide array of influences including black metal, death metal, noise, darkwave, and shoegaze. Their musical flexibility works its way into the band's conceptual approach, too - Lycus's particular take on mortality and inevitability is conducted on such a great scale that the band might as well craft dirges for the interment of the entire universe.
Originally formed in the fall of 2008, Lycus began as one of the very few doom metal bands in the Sacramento area. They played a handful of local shows and released a DIY demo over the course of about one year, but constant line-up changes along with other unexpected obstacles eventually caused the band to dissolve. After relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area, founding members Trevor DeSchryver and Jackson Heath reformed the band and recorded Demo MMXI at Earhammer Studios in Oakland, CA. Demo MMXI was released on cassette by Graceless Recordings, then on vinyl through The Flenser in January 2012. By that point, Lycus had regained momentum and began performing throughout the Bay Area.
More recently, Lycus experienced tremendous growth and recognition that belie the band's youth and early obscurity. The band issued their debut full-length, Tempest, in July 2013 (20 Buck Spin) to extensive critical acclaim, especially notable considering the band's underground origins. Steel For Brains declared, "In a year already brimming with absolutely groundbreaking work from the heavy music realm, Tempest places itself easily among the elite with its unbridled gloom and refusal to dig a grave of sound the same old way". In its 7.9 review of the record, Pitchfork said, "Lycus's early stages of grief have matured into dignified resignation and graceful acceptance". The album ended up at #18 on Decibel's Top 40 Albums of 2013. That reception was enough to catch the attention of Relapse Records, who signed the Oakland undertakers in January 2015.
Over the last few years, Lycus has remained quite active on the live circuit, playing alongside prominent acts such as Mournful Congregation, Agalloch, Loss, Evoken, Graves At Sea, and more. In recent months, Lycus toured up and down the coastal U.S. with the likes of Dispirit, Fórn, and German funeral doom legends Worship. They also appeared at the first-ever California Deathfest in their hometown of Oakland, CA.
After spending the spring of 2015 in the studio, Lycus is now preparing to release Chasms, the highly anticipated follow-up to Tempest. Due out in January 2016, Chasms is an intensely powerful and emotive masterpiece of funereal doom metal. Recorded at Atomic Garden Studios with producer Jack Shirley and featuring a surreal cover painting by Paolo Girardi, Chasms contains four immense tracks of deep, unbridled gloom. Complete with diverse vocal arrangements, atmospheric cello accompaniments, and enormous compositions, Lycus has created a mournfully expressive work of timeless doom.