The Lurking Fear is one of 2017’s most gritty and prominent death metal features. Drawing members from At The Gates, The Crown, Skitsystem, The Haunted and Edge of Sanity, their debut LP, Out of the Voiceless Grave, is sure to bring a reminiscent sound of classic and new death metal that combines some unexpected chemistry from this five piece. Given that this band derives from a era of Scandinavian/Swedish melodic death metal influence, it is safe to say that there is a taste of that vibe on their record. Yet, this record is far more than an homage to At The Gates; you can tell that there are other influences incorporated. Regardless, the record still nestles itself comfortably in the wheelhouse of a Scandinavian death-metal piece, with seeds from the 90’s and early 2000’s written all over it.
I would not say that it’s fair to solely compare the band to their origins. Given that comparison, I would also have to say that this is a much more pissed off, direct, and thrashy version of a death metal rendering. It is much less melodically serving, and more entwined in the death-metal focus than even At The Gates ever offered. You can still hear heavy influence from bands such as Autopsy and Bathory, even reaching forward to take influence from the acts all of these serving members have taken experience from. “Upon Black Winds” is a striking example of how much more gritty of death-metal record is. The album is brutal – simply hard as nails. The unforgiving pummelling will have your neck in splinters by the time you reach “Tongued With Foul Flames”. This record is not just sludgy, swift death-metal brutality, there is some genuine color and depth behind the veil of darkness first show in the foreground. Following the lyrics and the conceptual content, there’s a lot to this record in terms of its context.
Traditional of a swedish group, there are some very nordic passages and moments of traditionally reminiscent sounds that even peer into black-metal and progressive death metal, reaching into acts such as Amon Amarth and Opeth. There is a massive draw on Out of The Voiceless Grave that literally screams of every genre in metal. Elements deriving from everything they’ve most likely experience throughout the nineties and early two-thousands, being very well seasoned and with labored musicians. I can hear a lot of Hardcore styles and original death metal influences, a lot of thrash metal, and a lot of saturation from the new wave of Swedish melodic death metal, which they contributed to in the mid-90s. There’s this huge sound of melody that is not generally interpreted the same way as traditional Scandinavian metal bands have been presenting it. I still get a taste of that folkloric sound that came from that Gothenburg feel, but it’s not necessarily the same idea.
The vividness of death metal in this record is much more pungent and straight forward than in any recordings that these members appear to have been part of over the years. It’s safe to say that The Lurking Fear is a band of true grit and brutality in their origins of death metal. Death-metal at its purist. Diving into the tracks a bit deeper, “Vortex Spawn” has a little bit of a darker death metal appeal that is reminiscent of something much to the taste of a Scandinavian band. It may remind you of something folkloric in the sense of that swedish wave of melodic death metal, but most definitely hits some veins of early 2000’s melodic death metal and it’s not pretty.
This album is obviously meant to be stripped down, and perhaps even sends a message of purity in the roots of Death-metal. Its definitely fast paced old school death metal with a little bit of a thrashy element to it, complete with solos a la Kerry King. There are moments that even remind me of Celtic Frost, Morbid Angel and Cradle of Filth. There’s a whole wheelhouse of influences. The Lurking Fear’s Out of the Voiceless Grave is brutal, face pummeling death-metal that peers into other genre’s comfortably. It is worth every minute of the listen. Required materials: neck brace, faded death-metal shirts.
FFO: At the Gates, Necrot, Cut Up, The Haunted, Morbid Angel