1 Of The Most Amazing Albums…
This Year So Far
LEUCOSIS Self Titled LP Review

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Santa Cruz doesn’t seem to be a place to invoke the most grim and gloomy kind of black metal. But with Leucosis, the story is different. The band made its debut back in 2011 with the amazing “Pulling Down The Sky” that pulled off really impressive reviews along its way. The level of black metal presented then by the band, through the quality of the tracks and their sound, really caught up the attention of many out there, including myself, in such a way that i had to put “Pulling Down The Sky” in the altar of my favorite releases of that same year. This year they mark their return with another brilliant milestone into their young, yet prolific career. A self titled album made out of six amazing chapters which have a total of more than one hour of length. Although it’s a long release, I assure you that it’s one of the most well spent hours you will have. At this point, before i go further into the album i must warn the fans of “Pulling Down The Sky” that here they may be a little bit disappointed or even upset by Leucosis sound on this album. It all depends on how you like your black metal and how open-minded you are. I believe that this evolution in Leucosis sound is quite good as the songs themselves, united by different nodes that culminates into something quite interesting and innovative. It becomes a bit difficult to classify Leucosis sound with this new record. Atmospheric Black Metal Doom? Cascadian Blackened Doom? Whatever. It’s clearly black metal that drinks from cascadian and atmospheric fountains of inspiration and obviously some doom. Whatever the result, the way it’s made and how it sounds, it’s awesome.

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The album begins with “Anaesthesia“, which is the perfect track to begin this album with. An epic track that contains 14 minutes of the most perfect doom infused black metal where the rhythm ranges from slower sludgier/doom rhythms to the most cascadian influenced black metal stretching even to some beautiful instrumental territories with melodic contours that all together, offer an excellent gateway to what is a brilliant album. If we dissect this track we will see that 80% is merely instrumental, the voice when marks its presence, it shouts from way beyond, in total despair all caught up in this whole mix. But what really amazes me is how Leucosis take all of these different influences and create this unique harmony. Immediately glued “Calcinate” whose initial tone reminds me a snippet of “Time as Automation” from Buried Inside. Sweet and melodic notes are gently released as they slowly build a scenario that aims to be, at least, epic. The tone that the band injects into their tracks really has that dramatic charisma and melancholy that is so simple yet so brilliant. The tone increases before a deluge of thick blackness drowns us all. The voice is quite creepy as it echoes through this impenetrable wall of sound.

“Taiga” is another of these beautiful chimeras that joins elements of this sad, mournful atmosphere, black metal and doom holding us over the 13 minutes it lasts as the notes float carrying us slowly into a very ethereal atmosphere. In all of the tracks so far, there’s always this feeling of a crescendo. The tension, the stress is increased by the minute through every single note played. A fact that happens in “Grasp” that seems to start up within the drone territories, which emerges into something dynamic, more energetic, almost as if we’re inside of a heavy war tank into a battle scene that is about to burst. The drums and the buzzing mass of noise produced by the guitars/bass alliance, mark the sound of the machines that march full speed on the barren dry soil creating an almost deafening sound. “Aponea” offers us a dose of a more muscled black metal. Crafted with a purely genuine sound. No major effects or arrangements. Simple and crude. Which begins in the turbulent waters of black metal and flows into a doom/sludge sound.

“Leucosis” closes with “Euthanasia“, another colossal track closing in great dramatic tones, this magnificent album. Stained in gray tones, the cloud of dust that was raised behind is now starting to settle on the hard and wrinkled ironclad of this war machine that is Leucosis. Dramatic tones melodically fused with black metal than insists in not giving us even a minute of respite. If the track that opened the album was the perfect gateway, then this is the perfect track to close it. “Euthanasia” closes in all of his glory filled of heavy riffs exuding the most beautiful melody that embodies feelings of sadness, loss and suffering in the most perfect way. Just look at the cover of the album. There you see something as pure as a dove being released from the most deadly powerful war machine ever created. It’s the perfect image to represent what you will hear here.

In the end Leucosis proved that with this new record, they have simply crafted one of the most amazing albums coming out from the underground scene. The band has proved that through their creativity and musical prowess they have earned their place in the sun. They sure deserve more eyes and ears upon them. One of my favorite albums for this year for sure. An excellent album that is already available for purchase through their Bandcamp, where you can also order the album on tape, limited to only 30 copies. Act fast! Follow their moves on Facebook.

Haxan

Hailing from the other side of the ocean, from the ancient and mystical continent Europa, hails Haxan. His unflinching gaze is always looking for new gems in the most dark and deepest abysses of metal music. To reach me, please contact: haxan@cvltnation.com

  • Isaac Rigler

    I am a former member of this band who co-authored this release as well as the first album, Pulling Down the Sky. I was kicked out of Leucosis by Jeff Meuller just prior to the release of this album we had been jointly working on for over a year. As their former rhythm guitarist, three tracks of this album were primarily or fully written by me, and all released tracks contain a substantial amount of my guitar playing.

    After being kicked out of the band, I did my best to leave things amicably with the current band members but made the reasonable request that my guitar playing and compositions be stripped from any future release. I was very surprised when I found out that they did not adhere to my request when the album was released this spring with my tracks still in place.

    At this point I believe I have little recourse to stop what has happened and do wish to shift fault any potential listeners who may admire the music of this album. However, I do want what happened in the behind the scenes in the production of this album to be public information so that any future labels, show promoters, or Leucosis fans can make an informed decision about whether or not they want to support this band.

    • Haxan

      Hi Isaac, sorry about what happened. I understand your feelings about what occurred with you and the band … but can you tell me why were you kicked out from the band?

      • Isaac Rigler

        I wasn’t planning on elaborating any further on this issue in a public space, but I realize by leaving things so vague it is natural that people will want to ask me questions surrounding my allegations.

        The answer as to why I was kicked out of the band is to me completely irrelevant. I assume that in asking me, people are wanting to hear me defend myself by saying things like “I wasn’t on drugs…I didn’t do anything backstabbing to them…etc…” The honest answer is that it happened to me out of nowhere. I have several theories as to why things ended up the way they did, and though I was personally saddened by it, I have no interest in making this issue part of public debate. For me the issue was not being kicked out of the band. I believe my ex-bandmates had every right to kick me out of the band, just as anyone has a right to terminate a relationship they no longer want to be a part of.

        Instead, the issue which motivated me to write on a public forum is intellectual theft. After kicking me out of the band, I requested that my guitar riffs and playing be stripped from the album and not be used in any future Leucosis release. At this time, around September 2012, Jacob agreed to respect my wishes. However, after the release of the album with my tracks in place, I was received a message from Leucosis stating: 1) that they recognize no sole person as the author of a Leucosis song, and 2) that they believe in the future I would actually prefer they release my material rather than delete it. While it is true that more than my guitar playing has eventually gone into each Leucosis song, I want to explain why I believe Leucosis’s defense of their actions is unreasonable.

        Pulling Down the Sky contains a larger percentage of my work, with only one true song “Incarceral Form” written by Jeff. On the latest self titled release, only two and a half songs, track 4, track 6, and the latter half of track 3 were originally written by me before ever being presented to the other band members. I composed some harmonizing riffs on the other tracks but acknowledge the songs as Jeff’s original compositions. At the time I wrote the aforementioned tracks, on my own and outside of our rehearsal space, they did not have names, as names and lyrics were always something that were added as something of an afterthought to each track. The first step taken to recording these tracks was my recording them straight into a computer so that the other band members could learn them and record their own playing over them. Saying that no I have no authorship claims as the song was a collective effort does not hold up to scrutiny. Furthermore, the decision they made to release my work against my wishes to because they “think I would prefer it in the long run” is clearly not a decision they had the right to make. The songs I claim authorship of on this album are not true derivatives of my compositions. The only differences I have noticed between my original song structures and the released tracks were the subtraction of a couple of harmonizing riffs I composed which the other band members didn’t care for and the addition of some pretty pointless soloing/noodling over the ending of one of the tracks.

        In my previous comment, I already stated my personal reasons for making this information public. Beyond those immediate, self interest related goals, I also think that it is important for fellow musicians and supporters of musicians to have the expectation that musicians represent their work honestly and that musicians who do not meet this expectation are held accountable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylor.bland.77 Taylor Bland

    Rad band. Awesome pic. curious if this is the cover..

    • Haxan Frvrcrsd

      Yes Taylor, the band used this vintage photo as the cover for this new album. During World War I pigeons were frequently used to carry messages from tanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/thechriskimbrough Christopher Reece Kimbrough

    After only listening to 1/5 of the album I was convinced. When I saw the “only 2 left” text by the cassette there was no way that one of them wasn’t going to be mine. This album mixed with the new Full of Hell album have made for a great Tuesday for me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=527688311 Matthew Grant Anson

    Sounds cool, will check out because black metal and Buried Inside reference.

  • Megan Alexandra

    Killer