LICURGO
Flames (2014) By xDemoNx

Don’t get fooled by their Greek name as Licurgo, who got their name by the king and legislator of Sparta, Lycourgos, they come from Spain. The band was created in 2005 and it consists of three members. Almost ten years after the creation of the band, in November of 2014 they release their second full length album, “Flames” which follows the demo of 2006 and the first album of 2009. The album contains nine compositions and one outro of overall duration of about fifty minutes. I hadn’t listened anything of Licurgo’s material before and this album was a quite pleasant surprize for me as I don’t appreciate the Spanish Black Metal scene that much. So, here the listener will come across well played, old school Black Metal which combines the very beautiful elements of the Scandinavian scene with Death Metal elements.

In order to be more specific, we find the classic elements of the old school of the Scandinavian Black Metal sound that is beautiful, fast riffs, with the characteristic long, threatening sound, the dark passages that make the atmosphere heavier and more mysterious, but at the same time more majestic too. To all these elements the Death Metal influences come to add a heavier character to the compositions. The Death elements to which I refer, they remind of the heavy and absolutely mysterious – ritualistic sound of Necros Christos. However the roots of the band seem to be located in all the genres of the old Metal sound as we will recognise the Thrash or the Heavy parts too. But all of them are perfectly balanced under the veil of the traditional Black Metal. Finally the structure of the tracks is good as the changes from the one riff to the next one and from the one style to the other, they are made in a very smooth way, while the variety is as much as it should be so that it doesn’t become tedious for the listener.

The instruments are very tight and they offer very good result. Surely the guitars with their clean but frozen sound, with their full of passion and intensity in their playing of style but at the same time with their accuracy they lead the compositions. The bass is heavy and dirty while the listener can listen to it almost throughout the entire album. The drums have interesting lines with smart changes and outbursts which add passion and intensity to the compositions. The vocals are harsh, somewhat heavier than the ordinary Black Metal vocals while in some parts they become heavy, dark Death Metal ones, they fit perfectly to the style of the compositions. The production is clean and somehow flat. It doesn’t achieve to give to the sound the result that it should. The mixture, on the contrary, is quite good as it offers a very balanced result. As the listener can easily understand by the beautiful artwork and the photos of the band, the lyrics don’t speak about anything else than Satanism, occultism, rituals, misanthropic feelings.

I really think that the album of Licurgo is a nice travel to the past, into an era when the Black Metal was dark, blasphemous, free of any pseudo-experimentations or technical demonstration. But throughout this journey the band shows their love to Black Metal but also their talent to create beautiful compositions which manage to offer interesting moments to the listener. I enjoyed this release and I think that every Black Metal fan will enjoy it too. It worth to listen to the album and to get to know the band.

1. Pater Nostre Satana 04:56
2. Kill 03:21
3. She is in Me 05:55
4. Like Lions 03:30
5. Black Eternity 05:53
6. Saguntum 07:04
7. Only the Fire 04:17
8. Salve Satan! 03:13
9. Demonical Conquest 03:48
10. God Emperor 05:27
11. Outro 01:37