Lock Howl – ‘Pareidolia’

Solo goth post punk project ‘Pareidolia’, by Lock Howl, (James Mcbain), from Aberdeen, Scotland, was released on Feb 17th 2017, on Occult Whispers Records and Granite Factory Records. Influences include: Editors, Opeth, Beastmilk, Type O Negative, In Solitude, Joy Division, etc. Its’ style is defined as reverb drenched gothic post punk. A debut EP was released in 2015 – a few well received gigs followed. Production work for ‘Pareidolia’, the new full length album, has taken place throughout 2016.

The Seventh Room – Creepy, sinister intro, moving, with ease, from whispered vocals, to sung, gothic style, with melodic punk/goth instrumentals and plenty of atmosphere. Dark, eerie and haunting. Very much in the style of Nick Cave, trapped in the Addams Family’s house, being forced to compete for the scariest person present award.

Echoes From The Chemical Void – Immediate melody, in a flawless performance, retaining the sinister edge and introducing a stronger drum presence. Spooky overtones characterise the track, creating a memorably darkened emphasis.

Nephilim – Launching right in, with a more upbeat tone and catchier verse, bringing in an easier rhythm and a clear sound of more varied influences, opening up the song, more obviously. Still losing nothing of that melancholy thread. For a one man band, it’s an impressive instrumental sound combo. Deftly handled, quite a feat of musicianship.

Into The Darkness Into The Unknown – Increasing the volume, speed and catch instantly, here, it successfully deviates from the previous style, showing its musical chops and further evidence of a more varied set of influences. Returning, 3/4 in, to the original haunting feel, whilst continuing the quickened pace, it leaves an impression of real musical capability, in particular, ability to handle a wide range of styles and structures, unfazed.

Graveless – Again, a faster riff melody and subtle, yet noticeable experiments with black metal vocals, towards the most extreme end of the scale. Good, rapid pace, holding attention, whilst still scaring the wits out of you and even including some hauntingly ghost-like power screams. An admirable accomplishment.

Lost In The Static – Now we’re talking riffage! Great opening, even with the deeply melancholic sense that penetrates the rest of the track. There’s an airy feel to the sound in here – a sense of letting the song breathe. Ending on a power riff of the same haunting quality as much of the song, all the time, overlaid by that stark darkness, enveloping you, like a shroud.

And She Was Found By The Lake – Another creepily dark intro, once again, echoing Nick Cave, with all the same anticipation of doom inherent within it. It does move, briefly, into a more metal-core area, before returning once more, to the combined influences of gothic and melodic, just in case you were hoping the darkness might lift, some time soon. Just to assure the staunch goth fans out there, it doesn’t.

Her – OK, here we have a satisfyingly chase like pace, melodically interred, within the blacker landscape of impending and eternal doom. It’s soon overlaid by doom itself, though it’s still immensely and multi-talented and there’s no denying that, or the sheen of it’s presentation.

Overall – A well produced gothic experience, of doom and darkness, complete with stark visual imagery and extreme melancholia. As a solo effort, it’s a fine piece of work,  speaking volumes about the talents and dedicated fascinations of the artist. In enjoyability stakes, it’s definitely one for the true goth enthusiasts and is evidently much more gothic than punk. Impressive in its’ diversity, but too dark for anyone but those with the darkest tastes.

7/10 *******

For fans of Trivax, Gethika, Ghost, Gravehuffer, Satarial, Candlemass, Venom.

https://www.facebook.com/LockHowlBand/

Available now on Occult Whispers Records and Granite Factory Records.

 

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