LUCID GRAVE “Cosmic Mountain”

By The Great Sun Jester

LUCID GRAVE’s debut album “Cosmic Mountain” is more than a young band’s first full-length release. It is the culmination of a five year long evolution for the Danish unit from its 2017 beginnings at Copenhagen’s underground communal house and punk venue Ungdomshuset. Their first release emerged in 2018 with a self-titled demo that set the stage for the band to play shows throughout Denmark with bands such as THE GATES OF SLUMBER, HIGH PRIESTESS and CITIES OF MARS, among others. They followed this up with 2020’s EP “Goddess of Misery” but COVID-19 sabotaged their designs.

“Cosmic Mountain”, however, represents a full recovery of their momentum. The five-piece opens the album with the title track. This song is unquestionably the collection’s epic measured by length alone but it delivers on more than just duration. Cinematic trappings abound without the track ever striking a pretentious note and the versatility of the band’s vocals set a high bar for the album’s remaining five tracks. Dynamics, as always, is one of the primary orders of the day with LUCID GRAVE and they have an aptitude for it that far outstrips other performers.

It has a dire mood, without question, and the band crushes listeners during the song’s heaviest passages. The band’s twin guitar attack doesn’t rely on stock cliches as most bands of their ilk have a wont to do , but instead travels familiar terrain with a distinctive style. This continues with the second track “Old Spirit” but LUCID GRAVE provides it with a nightmarish punk-inspired spin. Alternating between full on salvos from the band’s two guitar attack and bass-dominated verses, “Old Spirit” leaves its mark on listeners without ever feeling like a retread of the opener.

The moody backdrop for “I Feel The Fire” is one of “Cosmic Mountain’s” high points and points towards one of the band’s greatest achievements with this release. They managed to build a diverse collection that doesn’t settle for any one point of view but instead has a far-reaching lens that takes in the whole of the band’s possibilities at this juncture. The future is wide open, however, and every second of the performance points to that as well.

The band’s stylistic debts to bands such as HAWKWIND and BLACK SABBATH, among others, are apparent during the six songs. None, however, reflect this debt more clearly without ever risking imitation than the finale “Curse of the Crow”. LUCID GRAVE threads a needle between these two disparate approaches and unites them without sacrificing a single stitch. It’s the final piece in the compelling puzzle the band puts together for us and it’s easy to expect it is only the beginning for this talented unit.