DieSeele


Lycia, the darkwave atmospheric band formed in 1988 by Mike VanPortfleet that has changed the landscape of modern darkwave, returned with the new album "In Flickers" three years after the previous "A Line That Connects". Having released 11 stunning full-length studio albums they returned to Projekt records for the 4th release of their second era. The current lineup that also performed on the album is Mike VanPortfleet (vocals, guitars, synth & drum programs), David Galas (bass, synth & drum programs), Tara Vanflower (vocals) and John Fair (synth & drum programs).

From the very first track, the homonymous "In Flickers" we are reminded of Lycia’s captivating music and why we have loved them all these years. We are introduced to their melancholic, cold and desolate sound that has coexisted with as all this time. Emotionally charged as ever, with Mike’s deep vocal and guitars drenched in reverb and Tara’s vocals following are just magical and captivating. Next, with "A Failure", we are introduced to a new more electronic sound. A rhythmic piece that initially seems different to anything they have ever done before. But as the track progresses, we just get to see how this is so them. Its great to see band trying out new things, sounds and direction, but still retaining their character. On "The Path", we have a nice haunting track that features a great mix of the drums and ethereal voices. Things get more acoustic with "She" with the strumming acoustic guitar, while on "25 Years" they get darker and more desolate.

The second side begins with "Mist", another track with a more electronic beat, yet again, another fine example of dreamy vocals and layers of distorted guitars. "34 Palms" is a dreamlike piece that has a more psychedelic feel, whereas with "Rewrite" we have the “heaviest” sounding track, with its stumping drums and distorted buzzing wall of guitars. With the next track, "Late Night Solitude", things fall quiet again, an almost ambient night piece with drones and the trademark monotonous drum beat in the distant background. The album closes with "Autumn Into Winter", a lovely track that sums up a brilliant listen. Here, the band has experimented more with the guitars and synths and as a supporter of theirs commented, its “As warm as the warm rays of the sun over the cold cloudy sky”.

With this album, Lycia have made a real meditative masterpiece that captures the band at is best. The ten tracks are intriguing, pushing the Lycia sound forward while retaining the familiar vibe that has existed since the beginning. The music in general is gloomy as the lyrics themselves but with some psychedelic moments, making it a touch more interesting and as always, we have those adorable soothing vocals.


Review by Nick Drivas

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