Lascaille’s Shroud is a one-man progressive melodeath project, helmed by Brett Windnagle. Along with taking its name from Alystair Reynolds‘ Revelation Space series (2000–) (which I promise I’ll get around to reading, eventually…) the project is lettered with references to prominent and often celebrated science fiction novels and video games, which adds a bit of extra spice to the project’s already excellent progressive metal tapestry.
There’s an immediate urge to compare Lascaille’s Shroud to Crimson-era Edge of Sanity, but what it really reminds me of is slowed-down, synthed-up Arsis with occasional Devin Townsend-esque leads (seriously “We Are the Nightmare” at 0.75 speed is a trip), the melancholic sheen of the seemingly lost post-tech death pioneers 7 Horns 7 Eyes, and lots of sexy, sexy synths.
The project has been incredibly prolific since its inception in 2013, Windnagle producing not one but two outstanding records this year alone. The most recent offering, Wounds, is a three-track effort consisting of tracks about the video games Control (2019) (which is every bit as good as Ahmed said it was), The Music Machine (2015) and The Last of Us, Part II (2020) – the last of which is a twenty-five minute prog odyssey, which even has a bit of a heavier Coheed and Cambria vibe going for it in parts.
Preceding that is Othercosmic Divinations I which is a bit heavier-hitting and features songs based on recent sci-fi novels, including Kameron Hurley‘s Eden-endorsed The Stars Are Legion (2017) and Anne Leckie‘s Ancillary Justice (2013) (which maintains my highest recommendations, even if it’s responsible for all the insufferable “lady-is-a-spaceship” novels that continue to plague modern science fiction and the sequels wound up being all about tea), along with the games Divinity: Original Sin II (2017) and Metro: Exodus 9 (2019).
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Going back further, there’s The Tiger’s Daughter(2018) – a forty-three minute take on K. Arsenault Rivera‘s fantasy novel of the same name (2017) – which has a bit more of an overblown, prog-metal palette, and some earlier engagements with cyberpunk, which I’m still working through and whose references I am yet to identify (or may even be original?). As I said in the intro though, the sci-fi references are just extra flavour, the music more than impressive enough to stand on its own merits.