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Lying Figures : A World Of My Own (EP)

A definite step forward for Lying Figures with their evolving melodic Death/Doom sound on this sophomore EP.

Hailing from Lorraine in France, Lying Figures, gave us the Katatonia meets Inborn Suffering-esque demo 'From Nowhere To Nothing' back in 2013. 'A World Of My Own', the follow-up EP, has actually been around since early in 2014 but without much of an obvious presence. Check the band's website or Bandcamp page, and the only material available is 'From Nowhere...'. If you want a copy of the EP, it would appear that you'll need to contact the band directly...or have them contact you, as happened to us.

To be honest, I'm rather glad they did: having missed the initial launch announcement in May, this might well never have come to my attention otherwise. So many bands, so little time, kind of thing, and that despite remembering the demo with affection for an excellent cover of Akira Yamaoka's 'Promise'. Still, it's playing now, reminding me that there should always be enough time to lend an ear to quality music.

Perhaps ironically, given that bassist Fred (formerly of Inborn Suffering) is now in the line-up - albeit joining after recording completed - Lying Figures have moved somewhat away from that aggressive full-on assault of that band. Instead, they've given more space to creating contrasts in compositions, alternating slower, near-acoustic sections with higher-tempo, but still quite subtle Death/Doom standards. It's an evolution: more thoughtful and textural, woven through with Gothic threads and gloomy Dark Metal motifs previously hinted at rather than realised. You can still hear elements of the band's declared Saturnus/Katatonia-type influences, without doubt, but the overall effect invites as many, if not more, parallels with 'Memorandum'/Burning...'-period Lacrimas Profundere.

A lot of that feel comes from vocalist Thibault, whose well-used laconic clean tones often have the same slightly nasal and deadpan hopelessness beloved of many Goth Rockers; these overlay the slower, more atmospheric passages, rising to harsh - or, perhaps more accurately, ferocious - contrast in growled sections. It certainly makes for an interesting and varied vocal palette, fitting well into the downbeat, pained melancholy that characterises much of the EP.

Adding to the latter, the twin guitars of Matthieu and Mehdi are frequently quite understated, offering discrete, spacious lines and rhythms that allow the whole of the composition time to develop and unfold. Whilst they can, and do, let loose some savage or dissonant riffing when the occasion demands, the music overall is guitar-led without being guitar-dominated, and all the better for it: leaving sufficient room for the percussion elements to have a considerable impact - something Charles, the drummer, puts to particularly effective use with a sturdy and well-ornamented performance.

Putting all those together, 'A World Of My Own' offers decent variety over the course of its short instrumental opener plus five full-length tracks. Leading in with a couple of pacy tracks, 'Taste Of Ignorance' and 'Nightmare (It Will Come)', which primarily reaffirm the band's outright Death/Doom credentials, the remainder of the EP develops more of their evolved Gothic/melodic style as it goes on: 'Until It Ends', the sublime misery of 'Of All The Western Stars', and the almost-Draconian conclusion of 'Angels Of Mercy' demonstrating a burgeoning compositional maturity. Presented as it is with a nice, crisp and distinct mix, there's nothing to fault it on technically.

To me, this is a definite step forward from 'From Nowhere To Nothing'. Competent as that was, it lacked a certain amount of individuality that has definitely come to the fore with this release. Partly, that's because it's moved towards a less-cluttered corner of the genre; more significantly, it sounds as though Lying Figures have started to really put together which elements matter most to them. There's still room for developing that further, but this EP certainly hits the spot for me, and I shall be disappointed if it isn't followed with a full-length sooner rather than later.

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Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Insanity Prelude
2. Taste Of Ignorance
3. Nightmare (It Will Come)
4. Until It Ends
5. Of All The Western Stars
6. Angels Of Mercy

Duration : Approx. 30 minutes

Visit the Lying Figures bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-03-01 by Mike Liassides
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