Pia Isaksen–Bass & vocals
Ole Teigen–Drums, piano, keys, vocals
3 Becoming the Sea
4 New Moon
5 Indian Summer
6 These Children that Come at us with Knives
8 Cold Black Sea
9 The Groove
10 The Thickest Night
‘New Moon’ is the second album by Norwegian Doom band Superlynx, and is being released by Dark Essence Records as a follow up to ‘LVX’ in 2016. The band from Oslo have recorded again with Amund Tømmerbakke as sound engineer, Fridtjof Lindeman did the mastering at Strype Audio.
Superlynx formed in 2013, and consist of Pia Isaksen on vocals and bass, Daniel Bakken on guitars and Ole Teigen on drums, keys and also contributing to vocals. The trio were all former members of bands such as Nephila, Framferd and Gothminster among others, and follow the doom, stoner style of music. The album is designed to look at light and dark, new beginnings and processing challenging times to come through from the dark to the light again.
‘Hex’ opens the album with great promise, the slow drum beat creates a great atmosphere and musically it generates vivid images and senses. When the guitars finally cut in, they do so with a crushing heaviness that is delightful. The haunting vocals sometimes seem a little off, and very mono-tone, but that seems to fit well within the music, there is a mysticism about it all, which is intriguing. Next comes ‘Breath’, which again musically is masterful and imaginative, while the vocals remain the same slow drones which do start to irk, they lack the drama that the music brings, so become quickly dull and dismal. A long instrumental intro, ‘Becoming the Sea’ enables the band to showcase their skills, the piano leads to heavy guitar riffs before the dull vocals re-appear, there is no feeling to them, and no sense of range or power, which sucks the life out of the track.
The title track, ‘New Moon’ kicks in with some very heavy riffs, I know doom is meant to be down & depressing, but the vocals are also completely devoid of emotion, against a back-drop of intense music, this sadly does not inspire.
A little more Psychedelic in style, ‘Indian Summer’ has some hippy strains within the music, it is a bit trippy and abstract, sadly the same vocals drain it of energy, however the introduction of a second vocal does attempt to revive the listener. Taking the crown for strangest title, ‘These Children that Come at us with Knives’ is a slow pondering paced song, which at least has a slight variation in key towards the end, but is generally not very exciting. ‘Scarecrow’ is about a scarecrow on the surface, the music switches from light to dark and back throughout, with a build towards the end which breaks to a thudding, manic, hyper ending.
Another great intro ushers in ‘Cold Black Sea’, the guitar breaks have a heartiness to them, with changes of pace and tone. ‘The Groove’ has a musical groove, jazzy drum patterns, slightly obscure rhythms and some hard male vocals adding something a bit different and interesting. The female vocal still drones on but when combined with the male vocals, they lift and become stronger, the tempo picks up throughout from a slow start to a manic end. Lastly comes ‘The Thickest Night’ which continues in a similar vein, with evocative chords being drowned by morose notes.
This is an album that will divide, on one side the music is brilliant, moody, thrilling and well executed, it pulls you in and on the other side the female vocal is irritating & mundane, with one dismal tone, making it hard to follow the lyrics and there is no passion. The introduction of the second male vocal helps but overall the effect is draining and miserable. I don’t expect something joyous from a doom metal band, but some variety of emotion, anger or bitterness, ‘New Moon’ was meant to deal with light and dark, the music establishes that, but the vocal performance lets it down by being weak and bland.
Review By Lisa Nash