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Cthonian Lich, Lost Tribes Of The Moon, Tubal Cain


  • Wisco 852 Williamson Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

There's nothing subtle about Cthonian Lich's doom metal, and that's for the best. Info

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Madison band Cthonian Lich check off nearly all the boxes of traditionalist doom: knowingly spooky lyrics and amusingly evil delivery (courtesy of former Serpent Lung drummer Graham Connors), a guitar tone that sounds like it's generated from the illicit lovechild of your local dust storm and a Tyrannosaur's snore, and thudding, swinging drums. The primitivism of their approach, though, is novel and enjoyable: this is deliberately over-the-top metal reduced to bare bones, which perversely allows the good-time aspects of their music to shine through. Subtlety is completely beside the point here, and that's the correct decision: a song like "Dire Fate" (the only demo available on their Bandcamp) needs the drums to emphasize every riff the guitar plays to make it as pounding and hammered-out as possible. If you're going to get this overt with your demonic role-playing, you might as well go all the way with it, and Cthonian Lich have learned that lesson well.

They appear here with Milwaukee's Lost Tribes Of The Moon, who recently hired a new singer and accordingly shifted from technically complex, King Diamond-informed power metal to a somewhat less theatrical sound, and local black-metal institution Tubal Cain. Tubal Cain's style is far closer to the stylistic forerunners and earliest examples of black metal (particularly Venom and Bathory) than the somewhat later Norwegian sound that ended up defining the genre for most, and that approach, along with their relentless riffage, has always made them stand out. —Mike Noto