Thursday, January 1, 2009

Review: Lucifixion - As Evil As Me (2005)

Lucifixion [ Website | MySpace ]
As Evil As Me

Originating among the farms of extreme northwestern Ohio, Lucifixion  was formed back in 1990 as a fairly straightforward Death Metal outfit. In the mid-'90s they released a demo and a full-length, but line-up turmoil forced founding member Jeremiah Riley (vocals, drums) to put the band on something of a hiatus. In 2003 Lucifixion embarked upon a new chapter of existence, recruiting new members and incorporating a female vocal element. The 3-song demo As Evil As Me, released in 2005, showcases the band's new direction as they shift from a traditional grinding Death Metal sound to something a bit more melodic.

Although easing up on the brutality, Lucifixion is far from being one of the hundreds of melodeath bands bobbing around on the ocean of heavy metal these days. Very little, if any, Gothenburg influences can be heard on As Evil As Me. Instead, the band turns toward a more traditional thrash sound - with a nod to the NWOBHM movement - thanks to twin-guitar riffs and blistering leads from Andy Hamlet and Austin Waidelich. Comparisons to early Bay Area thrashers would not be unfounded, as the band works quite well together to produce some quality riffs and punchy rhythms.

The addition of Maria Seeburger to the mix is an interesting move, but understandable given the unwavering popularity of women in metal. Unfortunately, the band hasn't quite figured out how to best utilize the qualities she brings to the table. In nearly every spot that Maria makes an appearance, the tempo (and entire mood) of the song is altered to accommodate her vocals. These abrupt shifts are quite disruptive to the overall flow of each track and serve only to distract. Additionally, Maria doesn't possess a very strong voice. She's not horrible, but until she strengthens her performance Lucifixion's music will only suffer. Jeremiah's vocals, on the other hand, are well up to par. He attacks the lyrics with a scratchy snarl that is both aggressive and intelligible.

Ultimately, Lucifixion is a band in the process of finding its identity. The female vocals, if improved and pursued further, could be a nice touch and an interesting angle. Even without them, As Evil As Me proves the band to be capable of delivering some quality Death Metal. These guys are worth keeping on your radar.

Track Listing
1 As Evil As Me 5:57
2 Saga 6:57
3 Death's Design 5:10
Total Runtime 18:04

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