ludicra - the tenantLudicra’s The Tenant is a damn fine black metal record; Invisible Oranges‘ Alee Karim calls it his favorite of 2010 so far. While Karim cites the album’s lyrics as a strength and likens them to his own experiences of living in San Francisco (where Ludicra also call home), I’m just gonna have to take his word for it as I rarely if ever listen to metal lyrics. But what I like about Karim as a writer is that his reviews are always balanced, and he devotes just as much time to describing the music as he does the lyrical themes. I hate when reviews only focus on lyrics, or worse, try to connect the album to some grand over-arching theme that does nothing but attempt to justify the writer’s ginormous student debt incurred by that useless college English degree. Just tell me what the music sounds like and I’ll fill in the rest of the blanks… ya know? The latter is perfectly acceptable as long as the music gets some page time, too. But every time I read an article by Sasha Frere-Jones I feel like I’m reading something by that grumpy graduate student instructor you had in college who’s always got a huge chip on his shoulder because his degree only amounted to teaching a bunch of college stoners. We get it, dude, you’re smart.

But this post is about my crush on Ludicra’s new album, not on Karim’s writing style. Here’s what he says about the music on The Tenant:

The lush production soars without sheen. Guitars sound like guitars, not digital chunks, twisting around each other in mournful wails, triumphant resolutions, and dreamy chords. Ludicra balance the beautiful and the ugly like few can. This is partly thanks to the vocals, which sound equally convincing as black metal wraiths and angelic choir. Blackened storms of guitars give way to melancholy acoustic interludes propped up by tribal drums. Savage post-punk segues effortlessly into atmospheric arpeggios. Black metal, shoegaze, classic rock, and blackened folk all rear their heads, but Ludicra never fall prey to the indulgences of genre-hopping.

Interested? Invisible Oranges has an mp3 of “Truth Won’t Set You Free” posted at Invisible Oranges. Listen if you know what’s good for you, and check out Ludicra on their current tour (with Krallice on select dates).


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