The Kindred - Life In LucidityThe Kindred

Life In Lucidity

01. Wolvish
02. Heritage
03. Everbound
04. An Evolution of Thought
05. Decades
06. Millennia
07. A Grand Debate
08. Seekers&Servants
09. Dreambender
10. Like A Long Life
11. Cimmerian Dusk (Bonus Track)

[02/25/14]
[Sumerian Records]

Life in Lucidity may technically be the second album in the repertoire of The Kindred (formerly Today I Caught the Plague), but we’re going to treat it as their first. Life in Lucidity represents a huge step forwards for these musicians, one which displays a more mature and cohesive vision than the already-great, previous album, Lore. To sum up Life in Lucidity in a phrase: it’s intelligent, yet with a heart that beats.

Right off the bat, it’s brilliantly clear that the main strength and driving force behind this ensemble is frontman Dave Journeaux. From the first word, through numerable high notes executed perfectly and lurid byways, Dave’s voice is simply unique. He can be compared to several big names, but it’s unneeded. Dave possesses a certain quality that is intriguing; he sounds pained but excited, motivated by some hurt, to take on the world. The result is disturbing and intriguing. This is most felt on the excellent track ‘Decades’, where his soaring words accentuate the extremely catchy main theme of the song. ‘Decades’ encapsulates this album: it’s moody and brooding in the style of Leprous, yet it never fails to deliver engaging riffs and a mind blowing solo that calls back to their earlier works on Lore.

Let’s address this duality directly, for it lies at the heart of Life in Lucidity. The album draws its life-blood from two main sounds: fast and heavy breakdown riffs more in tune with the rest of Sumerian Record’s track record and a bluesy, organ-tinged, melancholy. The first can be heard vividly on ‘Everbound’, containing an anchoring riff coupled with solid cymbal work to create a heavy feeling that suffuses the entire song. The second can be heard through-out the album; in the macabre ending of the opening track, ‘Wolvish’, or mostly on the instrumental heart-breaker ‘Millennia’, featuring as much organ as you need and a wailing guitar that will make Clutch fans smile. Put those two facets together and you get ‘Dreambender’, one of the most vocally impressive and catchy tracks on the album. Life In Lucidity carries an aura of kaleidoscopic folk, with various keyboards, acoustic guitars, and soulful if-not-flamboyantly soaring vocals to create an atmosphere that is nearly unparalleled in their genre. 

This is both the album’s greatest strength and its major weakness. The production needed to pull this sort of sound off is impressive. The album is well produced and nothing is lost within this amalgam of styles. However, it gets tiring at certain points and hard to ingest near the end. Although the band strive to keep things flexible and interesting, the sheer nature of their sound seems to be over the top and always turned to full power. They would have done well to study Coal by Leprous, an album which thrives on dynamic. The structure of that album could have served well here, with more atmospheric tracks setting the stage for the bombastic peaks of their overall sound. But that’s a pretty good weak point, wouldn’t you say? Too much passion, non-stop energy. Bottom line, this is a great album from a band which is on a bright path. The next installments should bring a little bit more cohesion and finesse to complete the work. The Kindred are definitely a band to watch out for: wide-eyed, sincere and strikingly original, time can only do good things to their sound.

The Kindred – Life In Lucidity gets…

4/5

-EK