Lysergene - Critical Mass review


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Band: Lysergene
Album: Critical Mass
Release date: 2008

01. Critical Mass
02. Twisted And Evil
03. Monolith
04. L.S.D.
05. Neon Flow
06. Network TV
07. The Groke
08. The Becoming
09. Shock Treatment

Before I'm beginning with the actual review, there are two things you need to know. First: Lysergene's music is not metal. Second: I am reviewing this album because it was released on the metal label Aesthetic Death Records. So if your musical spectrum is limited to metal only, there is not much use in reading on.

Just as with my earlier Dead Beat Project review, I want to emphasize that if you're looking for Metal, you came to the wrong place. What we're presented with instead is ambient, atmospheric electronica/EBM. Of high quality, might I add. Lysergene is also, just like Dead Beat Project, a side-project of an Esoteric member, only this time it's Gordon Bicknell.

"Critical Mass" is an adventure in purely musical terms. Especially the first few times that you're indulging yourself in this record, you'll find yourself constantly surprised by the twists in the songs. You'll hear layer after layer built upon each other, until suddenly everything breaks down. And it all starts anew. When the initial 'being new' to the album wears off, the surprises are not immediately gone as well. Sure, the outlines of the songs are now known and expected, but there's still a lot to discover.

The layers consist of guitar drones, noise loops, dance floor beats and all sorts of samples and weird, gloomy noises. There are parts where you can dance to in a freaky nightclub while high on various drugs, but you can also just sit back and listen to it. That's exactly what I like about this release, although I must admit I haven't tried the former listening option. But its strong point is definitely - besides the strong musicianship - that this is a musical adventure, easily accessible yet with plenty of depth and a fairly catchy album at the same time.

The electronic moments of Nagelfar's Srontgorrth slightly resemble "Critical Mass", but any other metal band reference would be incredibly far-fetched. It suffices to say that if you are interested in either Esoteric, adventurous music, EBM with lengthier noisy drone parts or drug-induced music freak-outs in general, and have a bit of an open mind, you will most probably like this. It may be something new, but well worth a shot.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 8
Production: 8


Written on 11.02.2009 by If you're interested in extreme, often emotional and underground music, check out my reviews. I retired from reviewing, but I really used to be into that stuff.


Comments: 1   Visited by: 17 users
27.03.2010 - 16:21
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Picked it up by mistake yesterday night at an Esoteric gig thinking that this would also be some sort of doom seeing it is a sideproject by one of the Esoteric guys.
Well, was I surprised when Lucas told me at the gig it was actually electronica
And to be honest... it is quite nice.
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996


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