One look at the grim, barren landscape that graces the cover of Lament Cityscape‘s debut full-length, The Torn, brings the thought of the Earth’s inevitable dissolution to mind. Rapid industrialization and environmental and societal collapse will be the catalysts to our self-induced apocalypse. That empty, infertile patch of land that stretches for miles on the album’s cover will eventually be all that’s left to see on the planet. Man’s interaction with the environment and the negative effects that result, may or may not be the focal point of this Californian duo. Regardless of their intention, The Torn inadvertently serves as a soundtrack to life after the fall of civilization. Lament Cityscape‘s massive compositions paint a bleak picture of a planet ravaged by years of neglect and spotlights the struggles of those left behind.
The Torn is a 52 minute leviathan that stretches across eight apocalyptic tracks. Each track bleeds seamlessly into one another, creating one gigantic, flowing and cohesive musical experience. Lament Cityscape‘s sound is one that is familiar yet slightly alien as well. Their music is a blend of dark post-metal, towering doom and corrosive industrial elements. It’s a sound that is somewhere between Neurosis‘ Through Silver in Blood and the most cerebral of Godflesh‘s material. While the band is not “industrial metal” per se, there is an overall mechanized atmosphere to the record that can definitely be felt. Industrial nuances and drop-tuned, avalanche-inducing sludge collide on this strikingly heavy record that begins on a high note with “Pale Hands”. Bellowing guitar and bass riffs and thunderous percussion stomp about like some fabled, titanic beast worshiped by primitive peoples. Melancholic melodies radiate among the metallic gloom as the somber song slowly climbs to its earth-shattering climax. Once the pace is set, there is no stopping The Torn‘s momentum as it lumbers toward the end of days, churning out city-leveling post-metal and reflective, emotional soundscapes. Piercing walls of feedback and primal drumming open up “The First Son” and make way for a procession of noise-laden sludge. As it progresses, the band pepper in cascading melodies that attempt to glow within the rhythm section’s tumultuous upheaval. Companion track, “The Final Son”, comes crashing in shortly after its predecessor’s saddened conclusion with an army of marching metallic weight. The song gradually decreases in speed, but increases its sonic weight and makes the listener feel as if they are trapped in a collapsing steel building. Lament Cityscape briefly opt for more grim soundscapes on the track “The Dance”. The song features over four minutes of haunting, guitar-generated noise and ambiance that lead directly into the album’s final chapter, “Never Ended”. Sparse, metallic, blues-like guitars writhe in the background as the bass and drums clang about like the inner workings of some diabolical war machine. A section of layered, ethereal guitars preludes the song’s, and the album’s, final barrage of bleak, apocalyptic post-metal.
Lament Cityscape have composed a behemoth of a record that is not only sonically punishing, but emotionally as well. The Torn is a fantastic debut that is unwavering in its approach and intensity. It is like being on the front lines of the final World War and witnessing the true, bloodthirsty nature of our kind. It is like walking through the ruins of a decimated city in a post-apocalyptic landscape. It is the sound of the fall of man. Those of us who have survived the inevitable end will be hearing The Torn‘s mechanized crawl in the distance.
Label: Battleground Records
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Favorite Tracks: “Pale Hands”, “Turn Inward”, “The Final Son”, “This Has Always Been” and “Sewn Into Our Palm”
For Fans Of: Godflesh, Neurosis, Jesu, Love Sex Machine and Kowloon Walled City