Well folks, we’ve gone and done it again! I won’t bore you with excuses for why we missed this release (lots of music is being sent to us yada yada yada) but suffice it to say that it wasn’t intentional; we’ve been following the travails of Lo! ever since their 2015 EP, The Tongueless, completely floored us back when it came out. But, somehow, for some reason, we completely and utterly forgot that they were releasing Vestigial last week. And that’s fucking dumb of us, since the album is an incredible step forward and deeper for the band. It takes the intricate formula found on the EP, and their previous two albums, to an extent, and cleans it up, focusing on delivery and punch.
And punch it fucking does! Vestigial is one pissed off album, mixing sludge, post metal and black metal into a hateful brew of aggressive metal. The progressive tendencies can still be found but they’ve been translated into much faster instrumentation; check out “As Fools Ripen” for example, the first full track on the album. The drums (who’s production is also extremely on point by the way) bristle with fills and cymbal work, injecting the rest of the music with plenty of forward momentum. The vocals are still one of the highlights of the band; they were always powerful and “to the point” in their delivery but on Vestigial their place in the mix has changed a bit.
Funnily enough, by making them a bit less prominent, Lo! have somehow managed to make them more important. The vocals on Vestigial are more collaborative, more in-line with the rest of the instruments and, thus, more convincing. They’re also more varied, no longer afraid to scrape the more high-pitched end of the spectrum, like on the brilliantly aggressive “Locus Christ”. The choruses are more standard fare for Lo! but the verses are much faster and more punk influenced. The vocals follow suit, taking on a “spitting” element rather than the usual “shouting” aspect, creating an even more immediate sense of urgency.
In short, Vestigial is some of Lo!’s best work to date; it’s firmly rooted in their formula but also does a few rounds around the block, taking a look at some new directions. We’re idiots to have let it slip below our radar and now we’ve fixed that mistake! Make absolutely sure you check out this killer record if you like your metal sludgy, heavy and forward thinking. Lo! are all that and more. You can grab it over at Pelagic Records because of course these guys are on Pelagic Records.