One of my favourite pastimes is to lurk about on the internet and look around for unknown and interesting bands. A band called Ludicra is one of my most recent discoveries. They’re from San Francisco and as is the case with many ensembles from that area, they have a rather unorthodox approach to their music. They released an album earlier this year, entitled The Tenant. Let’s take a closer look.
Ludicra share their innovative take on black metal with bands like Nachtmystium, Wolves In The Throne Room and Solstafir, but they do have an original sound of their own. Diversity is king on The Tenant. The band shares the typical black metal aesthetics of their Norwegian counterparts, but they mix it with a whole arsenal of musical influences, ranging from rock ‘n’ roll, blues, stoner rock, progressive rock/metal and some sludge in the vein of Kylesa and Baroness.
Despite all the different influences The Tenant is a surprisingly coherent effort. This certainly adds to the greatness of this album. As stated before diversity is the name of the game here. In Stable has this nice rock ‘n’ roll groove to it. A Larger Silence and The Undercastle remind me somewhat of Judgement by Anathema. This is mainly because of the melancholic acoustic guitar parts and the subdued clean vocals. Mind you, it’s still extreme metal with all the shrieks and blast beats going on.
The somewhat bluesy guitar solos and and the prominent bass lines give The Tenant an almost stoner/sludge edge. This is most prominent in songs like In Stable, Clean White Void and the title track. Truth Won’t Set You Free shares the melancholic feel with A Larger Silence And The Undercastle.
For all its intents and purposes The Tenant is still a black metal record with a signature bare bones production. This may put off some people, but it also adds an element of rawness to this record on which it thrives. In that regard The Tenant can be compared to Marrow Of The Spirit by Agalloch.
The Tenant by Ludicra turns out to be a very surprising and diverse, yet mature album. It’s certainly worth your attention when you can appreciate the unorthodox approach of bands like Nachtmystium, Agalloch, Solstafir and Wolves In The Throne Room. Recommended!
written by Raymond Westland