You might not recall this (because time works that way and the past is shrouded in forgetful fog) but we’ve already recommended Big Lich to you in the past. This Portland based duo has been making the kind of dark synthwave you know I love for a while now but now they’re back with a new release, Disastral Projection, a release which shows so much improvement that it garnered them a second Wave // Breaker entry. Don’t get me wrong, their music has always been good. But Disastral Projection is something else and it honestly makes the somewhat dubious “wizard metal” tag they’ve had on their Bandcamp description 100% fitting. OK, look, just scroll down and listen to it, alright?
OK, so the first half of this twenty six minute long album/track is more or less the Big Lich formula as we’ve grown to love it. The synths are sufficiently video-game inspired, their glitchy tones and fast delivery reminding us of Kubbi. The guitars are certainly there, thumping along with the rest of the music and interacting in cool little ways with the processed drums and the overall atmosphere of the track. Those drums are super good as always by the way; here, they coast along just below the blast-beat line, still delivering a wallop of groove and aggression.
But it’s around the ten minute mark that things begin to really take off and change. First, there’s an extended ambient passage unlike anything we’ve quite hard from these guys before. It’s psychedelic in the extreme, it’s little twinges on the guitar reminding us of drone acts while the synths which undulate behind them are more reminiscent of psychedelic acts like Pink Floyd, the early material especially. Now, you know the main line of music is coming back at some point and that happens right around the twelve minute mark. But this main line doesn’t return as it was in the beginning of the track.
Now, the guitars are way louder and central in the mix. The synths retain the dreamy, spacey vibes from the ambient interlude but the guitars are at the focus of the sound right now, as more and more percussive elements (listen to those subtle cymbal touches here and there) are introduced to support them. As the synths get louder again, the track explodes into this epic, space-rock inspired, no holds barred, rock out session, echoing acts like Tempel (oh my god, please don’t forgot about Tempel) of all things. It’s loud, it’s metal as all hell, and it retains some incredibly cool sounds from the earlier passages of the track, especially from the ambient moments.
All in all, don’t forget that there’s still over ten minutes to the track/album (don’t miss the solo near the eighteen minute mark), Disastral Projection feels like the perfection of the Big Lich formula. It’s their brand of electronic, break-heavy, glitch-intense metal given flight, given full room to run and breathe and by Jove, it’s bloody marvelous! Now, with the added psychedelic elements, doom-y riffs, and overall fuzzy vibes, the wizard metal moniker is truly alive. If you’re a fan of the intersection of darker synthwave with metal, a quite fruitful one, then you need to check out this release. You can do so via the project’s Bandcamp page above. It’s wizard metal time, baby!