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Predatory Light – S/T Review + Stream

While I was aware of the split release between Predatory Light and Vorde last year and the critical acclaim it seemed to receive, I never got around to checking it out; so this debut album from the former is my first exposure to the band, and my my, what an impression it has left on me. Filled with shining spirals of melodious guitar arrangements that often oscillate between slow, deliberate patterns and moments of bright explosion, Predatory Light have created the perfect jigsaw puzzle of deranged, flesh defiling hymns to unleash upon the unsuspecting masses.

Think maybe Thantifaxath with less dissonance and soul devouring inner turmoil replaced with a more pointed, gritty mindset, with a dash of Negative Plane, and perhaps then you’ve got something like the style employed by Predatory Light. In other words, it fucking rules and will shred your face off one minute and drag you down into the depths the next. The opener, “Laughing Wound,” is a pretty good example, as it features a fine mix of morose riffs that hang distant in a languishing manner, but plenty of bite within its manifold of twists and turns as well. This really sets the stage for the rest of the album, as it’s tough not to get sucked into the maze Predatory Light have constructed here from the outset. These first seven minutes and fifty seconds go by in a flash.

In any case, even if you somehow aren’t roped in initially, I can promise that short attention span or not, you will be wholly drawn in by the supreme riff wizardry that you encounter on “Lurid Hand.” Right out of the gate, Predatory Light hit you with that spiraling riff work I mentioned earlier, and it’s this initial riff that carries you forth into the storm that is to follow, as it dances and bursts at the 2:32 mark into a blazing lead that takes “Lurid Hand” to its necessary climax, only to vanish and descend back into eerie, gloomy blackness, as the track ends with slow waves of guitar ambiance and cries of excruciating torment that leave your brain feeling like jello.




But fret not, for the poignancy felt in the opening moments of “Path of Unbeing” and its subtle, emotive progressions will rope you right back into this group’s deadly spell, and charging, down n’ dirty riff changes like the one at the 1:40 mark will get your fists pumping and singing Death’s praises all over again. Such a change takes place later in the song, too, but this time coupled with a delightfully dark, melodic lead that works alongside the riff, engaging the listener evermore and inviting thyself to partake in Predatory Light’s hook-ridden dance of death.

The following two tracks, “Divine Membrane” and “Sacrum(Feral Devotion),” both deliver their fair share of gloom n’ doom interspersed with rugged, short, dirge-fueled growls and howls that head us, the listeners, to seek out the End, to cast off this flesh prison we’ve all grown so accustomed to, and what better way than with heaps of riffs and tight knit drumming? But, as I’ve alluded to this whole time, Predatory Light know just when to scale back their melée attack in favor of more downtrodden, contemplative sequences of mournful ambiance and its rare that these moments don’t perfectly set up the next powerful jolt of expansive riff and lead work like at the end of “Sacrum(Feral Devotion).”


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And after you’ve been dragged back and forth through the mud across five tracks, Predatory Light come for you one last time on “Born of the Wrong Blood,” the albums finale, and it’s in this final arrangement that the band seek to pulverize you once and for all with a lasting monument of tightly-wound, restrained, but vibrant riffs and atmosphere that subtly peruse the battered senses of the listener they’ve left in their wake. At the end of it all, what we have here is a very impressive debut album that is sure to propel Predatory Light to new heights, and one that is sure to win over any fan of great guitar work in particular. In short, never sleep on riffs, people. This record fucking rips!


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Metal. Literature. Philosophy. These are the things.

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