Release Date: September 1st 2017
Review by Steve Jenkins
With metal progressing and in some ways regressing back to the days of old, when a riff could stand for itself with its intricacy and innate brutality, Brisbane band Lavidius have come forth to make their mark in the metal scene with their latest attempt Helisma.
With this being their debut album, Lavidius have clearly had a lot of ideas brewing and many different elements that they've perfected in preparation for this release. Most of the album stays on the technical side, but they have truly honed in their songs, writing much cleaner guitar lines, and bringing in influences from the early days of metal to the creative prog-based bridges like the one featured in the songs “Final Moments Rest" and the epic "Days get Darker" which features Bjorn "Speed" Strid from Soilwork on guest vocals.
Helisma has the flow an album should, it varies enough to keep the listener intrigued, but doesn’t stray far enough away from their comfort zone to sound forced. Even with their longer tracks that exceed the 6 minute mark, the band finds ways to creatively structure their songwriting to keep the listener on their toes. This is a very groove-metal orientated offering, but that's not to say that they haven't incorporated the elements of thrash, death, black and even industrial metal; it’s just to say that these songs have a natural fuck yeah quality to them that insist you must bob your head along with the music. You don’t have a choice.
The vocalist sounds like he gargles every morning with a cocktail of broken glass, battery acid and a little bit of lemon juice, you know, just for flavour. The drumming is extremely well executed and he always finds the right pace and the right patterns, without completely overshadowing the guitar work, tremendous. The guitar work is vicious and relentless, and they sure can pull off extremely dynamic and violent riffs. The songwriting is brilliant, so precise and detailed that you will listen to one song and think there is no way it could've been written differently. The sound is full, multi-layered, shifting from fast and relentless, to epic and dark as often as a consistent but diverse album of this kind needs to be. The music is fluid, there's progression, there's logic, there's the joy of listening to a band that actually knows what modern metal should be, add in their own personality, and get back at you with a work that is clearly very produced, but still sounds raw, oppressive, and occasionally epic.
I would say that the song that represents the best of what Lavidius is all about, both musically and in terms of attitude, is the closing "Hand Of Carmenta" which is a personal favourite. it is definitely and extremely enjoyable and rewarding composition. It starts as a grand metal anthem, and keeps on mutating in several different bridges, all linked by a simple but effective chorus.
If you consider yourself a metalhead then I highly recommend you check this album out, as it's some really innovative stuff but with a certain familiarity about it. Lavidius are staying true to the metal genre with so much 'core' being used lately, it's refreshing to hear such a hard-hitting, in your face, crushingly heavy metal album. Top stuff!
8.5 out of 10 stars.
Watch the official video for "Cold And Alone" below:
You can order the new album Helisma by visiting the bands Big Cartel page.