Licurgo, the duo from Spain, has celebrated its fifteen years of existence in 2020. If you follow their career, you will see that this band is making slow but stable steps forward with each release they offer. So, after six years of their second full length album ‘Flames’, which made a good impression, they return to release their third full length simply called ‘Black’. This was released on the 31st of October of 2020 by Vacula Productions from Ukraine, which has released it both in digital and in cd format. ‘Black’ contains eleven tracks with overall duration of forty-five minutes. Firstly, by the minimal, black and white layout and the one-word titles of the tracks, even if you haven’t listened any material by Licurgo before, you can be sure about what they have to offer.
What we have here is a really passionate, dark, occult, Black Metal, devoted to the ‘90ies. The band blends their blasting, violent, tremolo Black Metal riffs with slow, almost Doom – like ones, with thrashing, full of energy ones, some repetitive punkish ones, even with traditional Heavy Metal. There are also moments where the band shows their epic influences, especially with the piano intros. The band has done an admirable job regarding the compositions and they show a lot of improvement in this area. The compositions, although they are still simple and direct, they have so good structure, with nice changes where needed, with distinct verses, bridges, choruses, it makes even the longer songs to be very interesting and intelligible to the listener.
The vocals, guitars and bass are performed by Redacrem, as also he is the one responsible for the music. The guitar is the ruling instrument delivering the riffs with accuracy and creating the atmosphere and images very well. The bass is present but not audible for the entire composition, though it adds that warm, bassy and occult sound to songs. The vocals are harsh, old school Black Metal vocals, with a very intense and violent performance. The other member of the band, Ollil Ziur, is the one responsible for the drums and I can say that his performance is impressive with accuracy and stability, he delivers with power, passion and good technique, the very interesting lines. The production is bassy and clean, along with the balanced mixture, they create a dark and clean sound which fits to the style of the compositions perfectly. The lyrics are not contained into the two – page inlay, and as Redacrem mentioned they are ritual spells, written in an unknown language. The titles which are given by the band, are given in English in order to give a hint to the listener about the idea of the track.
In conclusion, I think that ‘Black’ is a step forward for Licurgo. In my opinion, they have improved in the way they are composing their songs but remaining true to the character of Licurgo’s previous releases. I don’t want to mention my favorite tracks because It would not be fair for the rest, as all of the tracks are interesting. If you like the previous releases of Licurgo, you should definitely check this one out. Also, if you are a fan of old school, straightforward, occult Black Metal, you will appreciate this album for sure.