Title: Contagion In Nine Steps
Label: Blood Music
Release Date: 30 March 2018
Country: United Kingdom
Format reviewed: FLAC
This is one of those records which just happens to you. It finds you. Like a summer storm on a sunny day outside, like a momentary experience of a deja vu. Like a dream within a dream. Like a dark matter crossing the infinite. And that’s the main reason that the present review wasn’t easy to write at all. At the end of the day I decided just to play the record and to write down everything I was feeling while listening. No special preparation, no notes, just lines pushed by all the emotions.
Lychgate’s music is like an ambivalent paradox, a multidimensional question, a constant throw and pushes into finding the right decision for the key combination. A dichotomy of breathing black and white. An attraction of opposites. It is a labyrinth into the space, a quest, like a lifetime searching for the answers to the eternal questions. Imagine moving into endless corridors of space station, running, wandering and wondering, sometimes even finding a fields without gravitation, so you are just floating in the air…
OK, enough with the science fiction and the metaphysics and metaphors. However, this is not that much possible when reviewing “Contagion in Nine Steps”. Lychagate simply delivers an astonishing effort. “The album is inspired by Stanslav Lem’s book “The Invincible” and all the historical and philosophical sources on the idea of swarm behaviour in crowds and civilisations from the era of Plato to Le Bon and the modern era.” And even though I am not into Lem’s science fiction heritage and characters, I would say I really found “Contagion in Nine Steps” very contagious and addictive. This third record of the English band from London certainly requires special mood and state of mind. Just because these 42 minutes, wrapped in 6 special forms of own life, deserve serious attention and imagination. “Contagion…” is an album that can’t be just played. It must be listened to carefully, several times, and then experienced. “What’s the style?”, you may ask. Well, it is space avant-garde, black, doom. There are from clean to aggressive growling vocals presented, drowning into choir or operatic passages, heavy guitars and melodic solos. An organ playing from the in a solemn hall of the corner of your cosmic sleep, a piano and a mellotron. The music is a roller coaster taking you up to the stars and drowning you suddenly down into black space holes – that much variations, layers, textures and imaginations.
I strongly recommend “Contagion in Nine Steps” nevertheless you like or dislike Lem’s book. It is a record for all those who live an breath the mysteries in music. The explorers. Those who dare. Those who are not following the flock of sheep. It is for the connoisseurs only. 8/10 Count Vlad