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Lich King V: Stalemate

United States Country of Origin: United States

Lich King V: Stalemate
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Buy on: Bandcamp
Type: Single
Release Date: December 24th, 2013
Label: Independent
Genre: Thrash
1. Lich King V: Stalemate

Review by Greg on January 20, 2024.

This is one of the two tracks from the upcoming album, along with the hilarious 'Crossover Songs Are Too Damn Short'. Yes, I'm pretty sure there will be an upcoming album by Lich King, at least that's what themselves stated, but my certainties are starting to falter. I will not crucify myself because of it, however, if you've read my Born of the Bomb review, you might understand my desire for a worthy successor of that fantastic album, which I proudly possess. Four years have passed from it (actually about four exact years, funny, I didn't notice it) and meh... let's wait more.

Something that's sure is that, during these times, they went through a nearly complete line-up refounding, and it may have been an obstacle for the release. As I know, they haven't even formalized a new vocalist, and they are touring with Ryan Taylor of Solstice, who wouldn't certainly be a shitty replacement. The band has changed the guitar/bass department too, with the exception of Joe Nickerson, the only remaining founder member along with drummer Brian Westbrook, and ex-vocalist Tom Martin will probably continue to work with the band, but from a more detached position. Those must have been intense days for the band.

But speaking of the song itself, by now nearly three years old, we can overlook this situation and keep waiting with confidence. It's also true that this little revolution does not apply directly to the song, since we can listen to 4/5 of the Born of the Bomb line-up here. 'Lich King V: Stalemate' is definitely a single which leaves you wanting for more, and I like to think this was their goal. It clocks in at not even four minutes, less than the average length from the recent past, probably because of the limited time given to Rob's solo, far from the absurd ones of the previous chapter of the saga, for instance. The instrumental section is energetic as usual, proving once again the strengths of the band in both riffing and drumming, with Westbrook sounding better and better as time passes.

Some further regrets grow as we can witness one of the best performances of Tom Martin here. Listening to that insane shout at the beginning, or the one after (what's supposed to be) the second refrain, and realizing it's the same guy of Toxic Zombie Onslaught surely raises one's eyebrows. The choruses themselves have always been somewhat of a limit for the band, so neither this one does stand out, but it goes on quite well. It's no more than a classic Lich King song, it sounds as if it were a special bonus track for Born of the Bomb, so they clearly nailed the choice for the single. But when will we be given the opportunity to judge the remaining ones?

Plot twist: the morning after writing this review, Lich King announced imminent album recordings and further details on Facebook. If I knew, I would have done it some time ago.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10