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Lusca : Broken Colossus


An outstanding slab of Godflesh-inspired Industrial Doom from German band Lusca.



One word. Oh, alright then, three or four - Godflesh and (very early) Pitch Shifter. Actually, that's more like six but you get the idea. Germany's Lusca have ...er... lifted a certain amount of their musical blueprint from the early releases of both those trail blazing UK acts from the early nineties, and gone on to make something approaching a hell of a decent sounding racket themselves. The only thing remaining really, once we get past the sonic similarities, would be to ask if it's any good...?

Opening with what sounds like the drum machine from 'Streetcleaner', the title track is a masterclass in the way Justin Broadrick used to talk about how Dub music had infiltrated his fierce fusion of Metal and machines. A huge, heavy and laid-back beat, a reverberating bass sound as big as a horse, large spaces within the music, and a riff that syncs with the metallic clatter of the snare to hit you every time with that signature Industrial sound straight from the factory- and foundry-riddled landscape of the UK's Midlands. Except we're in Germany. So go figure. The vocal style is rather familiar too, echoing the first time we heard what lazily became referred to as the shouty, 'Post-Metal' delivery. Let's clear this up though shall we, and call this, and albums like it, for what they are. Industrial Metal.

As the album progresses on from that rather stark opener, synths appear periodically that give it far more of a European feel, sounding as they do, reminiscent of the likes of Front 242 and their ilk. None of the organic bludgeoning is lost in favour of some neatly compressed electronica though. The music, rather incredibly, simply becomes larger in sound and scope without sacrificing any of the clarity. Conversely, the track 'Between Storm And Salt' is an abject lesson in nihilist minimalism, building imposingly from its bare bones opening into a bone-crushing climax. That said, the ten minutes of 'Light Vessel Automaton' does it in even better fashion, and for considerably longer! Elsewhere, and it stands to reason we weren't going to get through the review without mentioning them, there are some cleaner vocals and atmospheric intros which call to mind the pioneering work of Swans.

Hypnotic, brutal, and, I would argue, rightfully unashamed of what it is, 'Broken Colossus' both brings to mind a glorious time of pioneering Industrial music and yet shows, at the same time, just how relevant the furious punk ethic found within it's broken, grafitti clad walls still is. The word 'derivative' gets thrown around a bit, and I'm guilty of using it myself from time to time but here the comprehensively frank musical statement made by Lusca renders it utterly redundant. This is the best thing I've heard in it's field in a long, long, long while, and by the time 'Aperion' has romped its way home with a chorus that's almost catchy, it's abundantly clear what the answer to my initial question is. One word. Outstanding.


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Reviewer's rating: 9/10

Information

Tracklist :
1. Broken Colossus
2. The Promise Of Sleep
3. Between Storm And Salt
4. Light Vessel Automaton
5. Procession Of Bleeding Hands
6. Kraton
7. Apeiron

Duration : Approx. 46 minutes

Visit the Lusca bandpage.

Reviewed on 2018-05-13 by Matt Halsey
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