Tech Death Thursday: The Last of Lucy
Whether you’re looking for some nutty mathcore or sexy sax crooning, The Last of Lucy have got you covered. We’re taking a look at their discography with this Tech Death Thursday.
First, the tech news for the week:
- Alkaloid’s new album has been finished and masters delivered to the label. I am desperately hoping they can make lightning strike twice with this one; their last album was damn near flawless as far as I’m concerned, and I’m more than ready to experience that high again.
- Fractal Universe has a new video out for “Scar Legacy of Hatred.” It’s very French.
- Viraemia recently put out a little snippet of new music, and it’s as crazy as expected. No word on a release window yet.
- The new Alterbeast album is due out February 23rd. You can go here to check out the track list and artwork, which I bet would make for a fucking siiiick tattoo.
- I mean, come on.
- The Odious Construct are set to start recording in January, and they’ve got a quick video of their drummer going really fucking fast. Be sure to check these guys out if you’re not familiar; their first EP is pure, glorious tech death. Be excited.
As you probably guessed based on their name, The Last of Lucy is not a typical tech death band. Their sound is rooted in grind and mathcore as opposed to the usual neoclassical/brutal death metal, and they’ve slowly been incorporating some jazz experimentation into their music. With their first full-length album freshly released, I think it’s a good time to take a look at their brief but colorful discography.
The band’s debut EP, Euphoric Obsession, is their wildest and most aggressive. Each of its six songs are short and turbulent, never staying on one idea for long and buffeting the listener with constant discordance and time signature changes. Pinch harmonics and slides are used liberally between harsh chords and tumbling arpeggios, and the few traditional-sounding riffs, while still fast, feel slow and crushing in comparison to the chaos they lurk in. The vocals are completely unhinged, spanning a range of throaty growls to manic shrieks. It’s a brief but sustained assault on the senses; I think fans of NYN will find a lot to like with this one.
I’ve actually covered this album before, but it’s interesting to see it anew with the context of the two albums bookending it. Exalted Compositions features a lot of the same chaotic elements as the previous EP, but they’re reined in and more focused this time around. The songs are given more room to breathe and develop; we even start to hear some trace amounts of melody poking up here and there. The most notable developments are brought about on the song “A Diminished Transcendence,” which sees the introduction of synths, clean guitar, jazz chording, and some Spawn of Possession-style harmonies (plus those harmonics at the end of the clean section are to die for). The latter half of the album gives us a glimpse of what lies ahead for the band, “Creationist” being more straightforward in nature and “The Seed” bringing the band’s quite melodic side to bear. Exalted Compositions is very much a transitional album, providing a logical connection between both parts of the band’s sound.
Now we come to Ashvatta, The Last of Lucy’s first LP. Much of the chaos of the first two records has been eschewed for a more directed approach, experimenting with melody over dissonance (though those little dissonant chords punctuating the ends of phrases are still around). I don’t think this is really a bad thing, though; they do a lot of things right, and their new ideas are executed with the same proficiency as the old. Big, thick grooves are woven seamlessly with complex melody and gorgeous moments of soft, clean playing. The tempo changes feel smooth and natural in contrast to their earlier work’s intentionally whiplash-inducing stops and breaks. They make use of some fairly unorthodox modal playing and chord progressions atypical to the genre as well.
This brings us back to the aforementioned jazz elements, as this is where these ideas come from. Beyond the weird chords and progressions, the band also incorporates saxophone into some of the clean sections. I know sax in metal is an instant turnoff for some people, but I think that’s largely due to how jarring it is to hear in the midst of distorted guitars and blastbeats. The Last of Lucy make it work, though; they ease you into it and make its presence feel natural, rather than the “riffing riffing riffing SAXOPHONE” approach of a lot of other groups attempting the same thing. It’s all about context and presentation, and these guys pull it off without a hitch.
The Last of Lucy is all kinds of weird, and they’re damn good at it. Their discography is definitely worth digging into, and it won’t take you much time to get through it all. If you like what you heard today, you can find Euphoric Obsession on CDBaby and the latter two albums on Bandcamp. Check them out on Facebook too, if you’re so inclined. That’s all for this week, and until next time,
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