Lychgate will lead. Others will follow. But there are times when the four corners of black metal must either be expanded or broken. To wit, Bathory’s Under the Sign of the Black Mark, Venom’s Black Metal, Emperor’s In the Nightside Eclipse, Mayhem’s De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, Batushka’s Litourgiya, Cradle of Filth’s Dusk and Her Embrace, Dimmu Borgir’s Death Cult Armageddon, Root’s The Book, Deathspell Omega’s Si Monumentum Requiris, Circumspice, Mgła’s With Hearts Toward None, Ulver’s Bergtatt – Et Eeventyr i 5 Capitler, Drudkh’s Autumn Aurora, Darkthrone’s A Blaze in the Northern Sky, Blut aus Nord’s Memoria Vetusta I: Fathers of the Icy Age, Burzum’s Aske, Immortal’s Pure Holocaust, and Abigor’s Nachthymnen (From the Twilight Kingdom), and now Lychgate’s new album, The Contagion in Nine Steps, have all helped define, codify, expand, and re-categorize black metal as we know it.
Now that we’ve settled through some of the forerunners, the bright lights, and the boundary-slayers, let’s focus on Lychgate. Formed in 2011 out of members of funeral doom gods Esoteric, death metal upstarts Macabre Omen, and emerging UK heroes Ancient Ascendant, Lychgate designs to fix philosophy and the apocalypse against a backdrop of avant-garde black metal, the likes of which call the space between Root’s The Book and Blut aus Nord’s The Work Which Transforms God. It’s a space occupied by few over time. So, it’s with darkened delight that we have the opportunity to premiere a song off of Lychgate’s The Contagion in Nine Steps.
Says Lychgate: “This is the “ceremonial” outro track, which brings the album to a close in a nostalgic, reflective and funereal manner. Unlike much of the rest of the album, it features only clean vocals and is consistently slow throughout. It is important to remember its place as the final track in the album, since frantic and bizarre tracks like ‘Hither Come the Swarm’ are a stark contrast to it.”
Be bewildered, be confused, be in awe of Lychgate’s “Remembrance.”