I’d like to think that I am not an altogether shallow individual, but every now and then I do fall for something just because it looks amazingly pretty on the outside. That was the case recently when I spotted the cover art for Lotus Thief’s album ‘Gramarye’ online. That artwork… wow (it’s by Irrwisch, btw). I hadn’t heard of the band, but immediately headed off to check out the album (released September 16th this year). And while the outside is indeed gorgeous, the content within delivers the goods as well.
‘Gramarye’ is a hypnotic, mesmerizing, beautiful, heavy, evocative, and dark tapestry of sound, vocals, and lyrics. To quote the band, their music is “a compelling union of metal, space rock, and ambient soundscapes resurrecting ancient texts”, and is based on “ancient texts of magic and sorcery”. I mean, how could I not listen to this, after reading that? I ask you…
For me, this album created its own head-space when I listened to it, all swirling darkness and shimmering imagery, and I don’t think it should be reviewed as five separate tunes (even though each one is distinct in theme and sound), but as one entity of sound and story-telling and spacey awesomeness. I do have a particular weak spot for the beautifully flowing “Circe”, but each tune here casts its own spell (literally).
“Salem” gives me chills. Just… shivery, icy chills. There’s a dirge-like, sorrowful tone to this track that really went right into my bones: gorgeous, but unsettling at the same time. Final track, “Idisi” is another favourite: a heavy, reverberating dreamland of a tune that I just love to bits.
The vocals are crystal clear, soft and flowing throughout the album, while the music goes from proggish spaciness, down into heavier metal-infused rock with big, beautiful riffs chasing through the chanted lyrics, while the steady heartbeat of drums and bass keeps everything anchored. All in all, it made ‘Gramarye’ the kind of album I know I’ll keep coming back to.
There are shades of metal, prog, and something Celtic running through ‘Gramarye’, and if you’re up for something deep, dark, and magical, then this might be just the thing you’re looking for.
- Bezaelith: bass, synth, guitar, vox
- Iva Toric: synth, backing vox
- Otrebor: drums
- The Book of the Dead
- The Book of Lies