REVIEW: THE LURKING FEAR – “Out Of The Voiceless Grave”
Tomas Lindberg doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of rest. As well as the long awaited At The Gate’s follow-up to ‘At War With Reality’, Lindberg has been working on a project with Viscera Trail main-man Tomer Hasenfratz dubbed Sign of Cain, with a debut due in September on Apostasy Records, and spearheading The Lurking Fear – a horror-obsessed, old-school death metal band. Oh, and holding down his day-job as a teacher. The Lurking Fear are gearing up to release their debut album, ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘, on the 11th of August through Century Media Records.
Those who see the involvement of Lindberg and drummer Adrian Erlandsson, and want to hear some melancholic melodic death metal in the same vein of what the duo produce in At The Gates should divert their attention to another band. The Lurking Fear are not melodic, or modern. The Lurking Fear are filthy, raw, and old-school. With a self-professed dissociation from modern death metal, The Lurking Fear want to return to the genre at its roots – there is no room for super-technical shredding, clean vocals, or excessive use of orchestration, this is classically thrashy death metal, with healthy doses of d-beat, unpolished production and Lovecraftian lyrics.
There are a number of seriously brilliant tracks across ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘ but unfortunately there are a few filler songs as well. Dropping the unnecessary intro track, “Vortex Spawn” and “Upon Black Winds”, and using the extra time from those tracks to develop a couple of the stronger songs a bit more would have left ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘ much, much stronger.
Focusing on the strong moments, there is plenty across the album to get stuck into. Taking the grinding, buzz-saw sound their homeland is known for in death metal and blasting it through the abrasive, blasting three-and-a-half-minute package of track number three, “The Starving Gods of Old”, The Lurking Fear really start to shine. It’s really the second half of the record where The Lurking Fear prove themselves to be a formidable force – the Iron Maiden inspired melody in “Teeth of the Dark Plains”, the more developed and modern-sounding “The Cold Jaws of Death” and the previously released “Winged Death” are all worthy contenders for ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘s best track. However, it’s the closing double whammy that really stands head and shoulders above the rest of the record – the evil, Lovecraftian blast-fest “Tentacles of Blackened Horror” and the stomping, melodic final blow “Beneath Menacing Sands” round off ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘ in a suitably brilliant fashion, leaving the listener simultaneously satisfied and wanting just a little more.
It’s important to look at ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘, and indeed The Lurking Fear as a band, for what they are. ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘ does not break new ground, reinvent the wheel or change the aural landscape of death metal as we know it. But at no point does it try to tell us that’s what it’s trying to do. The record is the result of five devout fans of old-school death metal jamming out an album of old-school death metal – and to a high quality, at that. While ‘Out of the Voiceless Grave‘ wins no awards for originality, there is a passion across the entire twelve tracks that is impossible to replicate. Well written and well executed, The Lurking Fear have delivered a cathartic collection of tracks that worship old-school death metal in its finest form.