The Second Wind
I’m not going to pretend that I know much about LIK. I have encountered the name a number of times but never actually bothered checking out any outputs by the band. The Second Wind is my first encounter with the band and the association between black metal and rock certainly piqued my interest.
The fact that LIK is the brainchild of Graav (previously of Armagedda fame) meant that there is no way this could go wrong, and honestly, it is curious how this was going to sound like. The album starts off The Other Realm with a doom-laden riff reminiscent of early doom metal pioneers, before the clean vocals of Graav begin, a bass-baritone vocal style that instantly brings greats like Peter Steele to mind. However, with a shift into vocals into a slight growl (more like a intentionally gruff style of singing actually), the music begins to pick up in tempo. The upbeat tempo and melody of Death Breeder sounded as if it could have come straight out of an 80s hard rock album, despite the seemingly morbid theme, yet perhaps it is contradictions like such that make The Second Wind such an enjoyable record. However, don’t be fooled as the band soon sinks back into their usual slow pace towards the end of the song. Other faster songs such as The Filthy Ride also provide listeners with a slightly lighter hearted listening experience, while the slow songs such as the broody Kallad till Bortgång that reek of emotions maintain the depressive mood before and after the slight ray of hope. The instrumental title track The Second Wind provides a fitting close to the album, with soothing and melodious guitar lines.
The hollow lead guitar tone that sounds as if it came out of a practice amp is fitting to the bleak atmosphere of the music, complementing the vocals of Graav. Graav’s vocals at times make me feel as if I were listening to a (pardon my following comparison) gothic metal album, only put to a slower pace and with the chilling riffs in the music. The simple drum beats also do not sound out of place, focussing instead on keeping the music in pace rather than employing fanciful and flamboyant styles that snatches the limelight from the other instruments. Add to that the pace that LIK travels at throughout the album, it’s sure to put you into a trance and in no time you will find yourself putting the album on repeat to experience that effect all over again. Another thing is the lack of black metal elements on this album, despite the black metal tag. The Second Wind instead sounds like a doom metal album on its own. Not complaining, though!
LIK‘s The Second Wind is yet another outstanding release by Nordvis Produktion, along with the Fen/De Arma split that was released slightly earlier this year. Poor music for poor people? Certainly not as the high quality releases of Nordvis Produktion has proven so far.